Can you believe it’s 2024? I have to admit I do not feel ready for this new year. How about you? Are you ready? If you’re not, that question may have surfaced some unpleasant emotions. It applies pressure, doesn’t it? It communicates somehow that it’s up to you to hurry up and get ready! When our answer is “I’m not ready” our shoulders slump under the awful burden of not measuring up. We’re left feeling like we’re not enough.
That’s how I climbed into bed on New Year’s Eve, not feeling up to the challenge of a brand new year. But today, I’m determined to ditch the fretful, me-centred “I’m not ready.” I might not feel ready for this year and all its decisions, obstacles, and unknowns, but it’s here…whether I’m ready for it or not. Instead of throwing my hands up in despair, I’m quietly accepting my unreadiness and silencing my panicked response. Sitting in stillness for a bit this morning, I realized this new year has something to say to me too.
I had been imagining the future sneaking up on me from behind or barrelling down on me like a freight train, whistle blowing at full volume: “Ready or not, here I come!” But the future is in front of me, is it not? Its call isn’t a threat. It’s an invitation. It’s not so much, “Ready or not, here I come,” as it is “Ready or not, come.” Come with me. Come and see. Come, follow. It’s the invitation of Jesus too, who, rather than pushing and hurrying me from behind, goes before me in all things. As the saying goes, “I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow.”
“Ready or not, come” settles the anxious dust swirling in my soul and invites me to come as I am. It brings peace and focuses my scattered, overwhelmed thoughts. There’s no way I can ready myself for anything and everything. I only need ready myself for one thing — listening for the voice of my Lord so I can follow where He leads. “Ready or not, come” reassures me I have Someone preparing the way and preparing me.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.John 19:27-30 (NIV)