This May be a New Year, but How Can You Make it a Good Year?
What makes you feel like you have good life?
- Relationships that make you feel cared for?
- Money and Things that make you feel content?
- Accomplishments, titles or education?
- Applause and recognition over your efforts?
- Doing good for another, helping them?
- Things going your way, your kids listening to me, people caring for you?
- Feeling Happy?
- ____________? (Fill in the blank)
A good life may include some or all of these things.
We forget that half of our days, that half of our year is in total darkness; we sleep through one third of our lives. A good life is one where we learn to be well and live well in spite of the darkness.
When we close our eyes it is dark, but our our hearts hold onto the light.
The sun rises at the edge of darkness. In the same way, life is often lived at the edge, in the frayed and worn parts of our lives. Hard words like honesty, brokenness and forgiveness is where the beautiful things happen.
The new year can be good because of the things that we will have, receive or accomplish. But that is only half of our year. We will live a good life when we live despite the dark around us or the dark within us.
Often the most important things happen at the edges of our darkness. These are raw and real places. I don’t know what you believe, but I believe that at our edges is where God can do beautiful things:
- Despite the fact that I am an asshole
- When I am confronted by the mercy I have received and I in turn share that mercy with my enemies wherever they are and whoever they are
- When I am unable to judge someone else because my own crap is too much in the way
- When I bear witness to another’s suffering despite my desire to be left alone
- When I am forgiven by someone even though I don’t deserve it and my forgiver is also trapped by grace
- When traumatic things happen in the world and I have nowhere to place them or make sense of them but I do have a community of people who support me, mourn and pray with me
- When I end up changed by loving someone I’d never chose out of a catalog but whom God sends my way to teach me about God’s love
Points 1-7 Adapted from Nadia Bolz-Webber, p. 9 “Accidental Saints.” Click here for more about Nadia Bolz-Webber.
My hope is that this year is a good one for you. Join me in the comments.
Keep it Real
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Photos by Paulius Malinovskis and smswaby.