When is the last time you drove down the highway and encountered a sign that read “Rest area 1 mile?” Wanting to stretch your legs, take a needed break, or appease crying children in the back seat, this sign was a wave of relief. The path you were traveling was clear, but the getting to the destination was a challenge. Life can be like that. We know heaven as our destination, but the path we must take is not always clear and often presents a challenge. God seems to keep telling us that there are many new paths that are waiting for us to carve and is offering the opportunity to map out a highway to a new place or to something we’ve never done before. God is reminding us that there are many dreams out there to be accomplished that will benefit others. Do we resist going there?
So, a new year holds new opportunities for us and that means journeying down a path which we may have never walked before. What is this “new” we wonder. New experiences to face, new problems to solve, new trials to face, new sorrows to bear, new opportunities to grasp, new tasks to perform, new blessings to enjoy. However, we may be tired, lonely, fed up with life’s circumstances and challenges. Maybe our “valleys” need to be lifted up; our relationships need to be filled anew with the realization of God’s presence and grace in all we are asked to do. Of course, we are not able to see how all this will be accomplished, but we must press on down this new path anyway. God’s will for us is always connected with God’s promise to help us accomplish it. What does it take to allow our hearts to sink into the truth that our God is a God of the weary and confused, exhausted and humbled, the questioning and the curious? We must believe that God will bless us and help us in the journey. Life is full of uncertainties, but God is a certainty in them all.
Pope Francis said in a homily: “We are always on our way in life. We become what we’re going towards…It is the way of “yes,” not the way of “if”…There is no path that cannot be faced with Jesus.” With these encouraging words he asks us to go out to others and be the messengers of love in the world. He reminds us that “The road Jesus tells us to take is to go up to God and to come down to our brothers and sisters.” What better way to move into the New Year than with this advice!!