2015 carries a lot of weight.
I failed at a lot of things. I lost a lot of things. I learned a lot of things.
It wasn’t the kind of pretty that plays on IMAX screens or sold out shows.
2015 was a year of transition.
The thing about transition is, it marks your life. It doesn’t ask if you are ready for change or care if your heart is broken.Transition is greedy. It swoops in looking for its prey. You never know what you’ll lose, but you always have to be prepared.
My dad died. I didn’t finish ministry school on time. I let my friends down. They let me down. I got a C. I felt the pain of loss. I punched a hole through a wall. I hid. I cried. I screamed. I begged for a way out.
We, as humans, are the sum of every experience we’ve ever had. The moments of impact. Moments that send your world spiraling in a million different directions. Falling in love. Having your heart ripped out. Dancing in the street. Feeling the wind in your hair. Watching your best friend walk away. Watching them come back. Finding purpose.
We’re all on a journey searching for something. Something, that in fact, very few of us have seen with our own eyes. We feel the bends. We hit the rocks. We move along the untouched path towards that thing we so desperately long for.
It’s day 3 of 365.
In a world that peaks with tragedy, it’s hard to experience good. It nearly impossible to “stay positive”. Our minds become trapped in the pessimism and grimness of life.
Scripture rehearses this cycle time and time again. Ecclesiastes even goes as far to say there are seasons for every feeling associated with the events of life.
“A time for birth and another for death,
A time to plant and another to reap,
A time to kill and another to heal,
A time to destroy and another to construct,
A time to cry and another to laugh,
A time to lament and another to celebrate,
A time to make love and another to abstain,
A time to embrace and another to part,
A time to search and another to count your losses,
A time to hold on and another to let go,
A time to rip out and another to mend,
A time to shut up and another to speak up,
A time to love and another to hate,
A time to wage war and another to make peace.”
The parallels are extreme and honest. We like to hide during the deaths and the planting and the crying and the searching. Then, once it’s “good” again, we come out.
2016 needs a shameless appeal for celebration. It needs a guiltless declare of truth. A powerful movement for laughter and love.
“We need optimism in the face of violence, despair, and anxiety. The other road is a dead end. Despair is a slow death, a lifetime of anger is like a lifetime of hard drinking: it shows in your face and your eyes and your words, even when you think it doesn’t. The only way out is to celebrate. To act, read, protest, protect, picket, learn, advocate for, and fight against. The trick though, is that in the midst of all that accomplishing and organizing, we don’t bulldoze over a world that’s teeming with beauty and hope and redemption all around us. Before the wars are over, the cures are found, the wrongs are righted – Today, humble today, presents itself with all the potential we choose to bring. It’s in our hands now.” (Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines) (If you haven’t read it, go buy it, tonight)
Im not saying the pain isn’t real. I’m not saying the betrayal is a lie. I am saying that we need to punch pessimism in the face and throw too many dance parties. Call for a feast, find some sparklers, and let’s celebrate.
It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be worth it.
“The sun will rise and we will try again.”
2016 is your chance. Stop the lies. Stop the fear. Stop the negative.
It doesn’t have to be “new year, new me” – it’s new year, same me. Only this time, you let people in. Only this time, truth prevails. Only this time, fear doesn’t have a say.
I’m going all in. I hope you will too.
Here’s to the possibilities.