I am currently sitting in an airport – watching people say goodbye and hugging. Some are crying. Some are extremely professional – having obviously done this countless times. Airports are incredible places for me. Growing up I was blessed to see the majority of the world – travelling internationally with my family from the age of five. The stories I can tell because of my travels are some of my most precious possessions – but they are started and ended with a fateful encounter at an airport.
Airports are a place of transition. It’s a place where people immediately reflect on their past – what they have done and what has happened while they were in one place. At the same time it is a place where people also begin thinking about the future: when they would next return, what is waiting for them on the other side of their journey or even how terrified they are to fly. There are few places on earth like airports. And I find it is the perfect place to write about new beginnings.
I have heard people say that New Years Day is just that – a random day. It’s just a moment that someone decided would be the change of measurement of time for the whole world. And I agree. There is nothing very special about the day itself. Just like an airport is – in practicality – just a building. There’s nothing very special about it. But the stories, the hopes and emotions and the connectivity that such a day (or building) facilitates is enormous and (now and then) truly historical.
I don’t know what 2017 has been like for you. For me I saw some really hard times – had to navigate some tricky situations and conversations. I find myself a little more weathered, but a whole lot wiser than I was before. It was also the year that I was offered my dream job and saw things that I quietly hoped for come to pass – incredible things that I never even told my family about.
And looking back at all the struggle and frustration, I have come to truly appreciate that quiet hope. You see, if you asked me at the beginning of 2017 where hope belonged, I would have said, “In my future”. And in many ways I would have been right. I was hoping for things I had not seen, I dared not even put words to what I was dreaming. But that hope did more for me in the moments leading up to the fulfilment of those hopes. It was the fuel that sustained me through many struggles, fights, insecure moments and victories.
I have come to realise that consistently living in the ‘dreamland’ of my future is in no way helping me get there. I am extremely goal-oriented and have a focus that can be detrimental to my present situation and those around me – and I learnt very clearly that my hope for the future is, in fact, not going to help me when it is fulfilled. My hope for the future rather builds my present situation and makes me thrive.
In the Bible the writer Paul speaks about a present hope. Not a future hope.
Going into this New Year, I am sure that you also have some preconceived ideas. You might be dreading what it may bring – to you I would encourage you to find some hope. In 2017 I entered the year extremely distressed – actually questioning my sanity when it came to what I was hoping to see in my life. I was praying for a way to do what I love and have a good enough income to rest. And quite frankly – I was borderline burnout. But I had a hope to hold onto. A hope that God would come through. That even if I was deluded, there was a future – that the best for me was still on its way.
You may, on the other hand be extremely excited for what 2018 holds! Whether it’s a change of scenery, a new career opportunity, a flourishing relationship or something even greater than you can currently imagine – I would encourage you to revel in that hope of new beginnings! Because there is going to come a time when that hope will be all you can hold onto. So bask in all it’s fullness, but make sure you appreciate the present situation as much as the new one you are walking into. Appreciate where you are so that you have no regrets when you walk into your new season.
Hope is a powerful tool. It gives you staying power, it builds endurance and also makes us work harder for greater things to come. But hope is not simply something you suck out of thin air. It has an origin. And the only way I have found a hope that is powerful enough to keep me on track is by knowing Jesus Christ. If you would like to walk into your new year with a powerful injection of hope that helps you enjoy the present as much as it fuels your future expectation, click on the link below.