The Old Year

ne timeas, tempus fugit
Ha ha! to the old year
Good-bye to the cold fear
Gonna cry when I need it, smile when I need it
I'm gonna live like a living soul
Gonna write it on my wretched bones
And stop waiting for happily ever after
eric peters

While I am not much a one for celebrating New Year's day, I did click on the link posted by Andrew Peterson for his friend's song "The Old Year" - and in the course of the song, the line "and stop waiting for happily ever after" jumped out at me.

I see this every day. I see it in people around me, I see it in myself: that frantic desire to reach a better-than-right-now.  Contentment is truly a rare jewel in wisdom's crown, and while I do not fool myself into believing for a moment that I possess it, perhaps in Peters' song I caught a glimpse of it.  What is wrong with Now?  Perhaps Now is full of regret, or sorrow, or guilt.  Who wants to bear that burden?  Who would not want to slough that off as quickly as possible?  Thanks to God, we all have the liberty to take the regret, the sorrow, and the guilt of 2013 to his feet and leave it there.  For us, a new year is opening up ahead, a gift from our Father, in which to further emulate his son.

But then there is that "happily ever after."  How many of us subconsciously entertained the thought that perhaps this year I would get it right - perhaps this year I would accomplish all my goals, I would not fail, I would be holy, and everything would be happy.  How many of us realized how wrong that is?  I didn't, not until I listened to Peters' song.  In Christ, we all have a "happily ever after" ahead of us: we have the blessed assurance of it.  But nowhere are we promised that happily ever after now.  It has its time, and its time is not now.  So why are we stressing about getting it now when it isn't scheduled?  God knows - we don't - when it will happen, and no amount of worrying about it will bring it any closer.  All things happen in their appointed season, including happily ever after.  We are assured peace, joy, long-suffering natures (which, by the way, we don't need in happily ever after) - you are acquainted with the fruits of the Spirit.  We are promised equipment to face a life full of disappointment, heart-ache, the daily killing of our own selfish wills, but we are not promised a premature advent of happily ever after.

Every good and perfect gift comes down from above, from the Father of lights.  I am not saying that shouldering the pain of our lives is easy, but I am saying what the Scriptures have always said, that God is one who delights in mercy, that he is just, and that he knows what he is doing.  Don't worry about happily ever after: happily ever after will come.
You follow Christ.

5 ripostes:

  1. How opportune this post is. 2014 brings with it something like arming myself, for in many ways, I know that the perceived struggles of the old year will be magnified in the New Year. But if He must take away my finances, my health, and every other security in order to force me to the Father's feet, then so be it. This life and the fires in which we are forged is but a fading shadow of the ultimate Happily Ever After that is to come. And with our dying breaths, we say

    "No, He is not safe. But He is good. He's the King, I tell you."

  2. I was just thinking of that quote. For a different reason, but I was just thinking of it.

  3. I am most assuredly guilty of being the "happily ever after" girl, who hopes maybe this year will be better. Perhaps it's because I'm an optimist, or perhaps I'm just ready to move on. I can't think of one December where I wasn't itching to begin again in January with a whole, unscathed year before me and so much to fill it up. I like change, which is sometimes a strange thing to contend with because it is generally a good thing - but not when I grow impatient with my own life and am always ready to move on.

    I guess that's to say I'm going to compromise your post because one of my plans this year to be more content; more patient. ;P But you're right: we aren't promised anything perfect or marvelous now - and isn't it enough that our lives are so blessed? We often loose sight of all we have in anticipation of what we want (cliche, yes, but true too). Thank you for another good, thought-rattling post. ;)

  4. Thank you for this post. I really needed to read it at just this time of my life.

  5. This made me happy. Everyone has been saying this is going to be a great year and everything will be better, but I know it will have its troubles and sorrows. I don't think we should be looking for a year to make itself into what we want before we are happy. God is with us, and that alone makes me happy, no matter what comes of this year.