I'm sitting here watching the end of "It's a Wonderful Life", a standard at Christmas for our family. George Bailey has just been "unborn" and is seeing the results. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that he finds out his life has touched many others.
"May you live in interesting times" - Purported Chinese proverb/curse
For me, It's been an interesting year. It started pretty good, but is ending kinda weird.
You see, I've lost my job.
I got my first job when I was 14, as a programmer for the local city hall. Since I'm 44 this year, I've now been working non-stop for 30 years. No breaks. A few weeks off every year, but I've never been without a place to go every day. It's weird.
In a sense, I brought this on myself. A few weeks ago, I'd been feeling like it was time for a change. I was unsettled and troubled. I'd prayed fervently on Sunday night that I might be able to stop holding so tightly to the things of this earth. The house, the money, the status, the job. I prayed that I have might have as much faith in God as he has in me.
Wow, did he deliver. The next morning, it was done.
This time of year is about celebrating both endings and beginnings. We finish out the year, and look forward to a new one.
From a Christian point of view, we see the end of the old covenant, and with the birth of Jesus Christ, the start of a new covenant.
For me, it's the end of a 30 year streak of consecutive starts, without knowing what's ahead. And it's terrifying. Well and truly terrifying. But something new is coming. Something blessed.
Back to George Bailey.
George Bailey touched many lives, and it's in those things that he's found his success. He never traveled the world, wasn't hugely successful in the savings and loan, didn't have much professional success in worldly terms. But George Bailey had a great family, amazing friends, and he did GOOD in this world. He touched many lives. He truly had a wonderful life.
It's easy to forget all of the many blessings he's rained down on me: Robin, Beth and Josh, the friends I've had, the good I've done. I've had a wonderful life too.
Unshakable faith often eludes me, as does any lasting peace. But I'm working on it, and in this interesting season, I've been put to the test. Can I be patient? Can I have faith in Him?