If you glance at your rearview mirror, you might see me running, limping, huffing and panting … trying to catch up. By the time the whistle blew for the 2022 train to leave the station, I was certainly not on board and nowhere near ready for departure. Between battling influenza A (who knows for sure what it was?) and some clinging projects from 2021 that refused to be neatly wrapped up, it’s not a wonder I was left behind.
The result? Dropped balls every which way I looked. Missed deadlines, unreturned phone calls, unwritten resolutions. While many have their resolutions, the word of the year, strategy meetings, goals, and everything else needed to be on the train under their belts, all I wanted was someone to press pause. Oh, that the Divine would grant at least two weeks, a no man’s land between the old year and the new one. A space where I can sleep off the fatigue, catch up with friends and family, make plans, and complete projects from last year. A place where time stands still and allows me the grieve the past, bury my regrets, make peace with all the uncertainty that has been our lives, and possibly come up with some decent resolutions.
There was no such space; by the time the last of the new year’s fireworks quieted, kid’s back-to-school manenos were upon us (wipes brow). Is it a wonder that it’s only now, on the 40th day of January, that I am lacing up my boots, ready to step into the new year? Breathing Ethiopian air has righted my world and is probably helping a lot! (See the update I just sneaked in there?!)
The image of me panting after a bus that has already set sail brings to mind Aesop’s fable of the race between the hare and the tortoise. It was a no-brainer for those who saw the hare whizz past and the tortoise plod on. The tortoise did not have a chance of winning the race. But you know what they say about it not being over until the fat lady sings (whoever she is), the hare was tripped up by his pride and the slow tortoise carried the day.
The lesson is clear; Koheleth the wise one said, “the race is not always to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning, nor favor to the skillful; for time and chance overtake them all.”
Fortunately, unlike in the hare and tortoise fable, 2022 is not a competition. Kenyans (not particularly known for disciplined driving) often remind each other, ‘keep to your lane.’ Each of us is called to run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Thankfully, we do this by keeping our eyes on the one who fires the start gun and holds the finish line…Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
To those who have started the year with the saddest possible news – departure of loved one…our hope is in the Father of all Comfort, He will comfort.
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