For the past six years I have written a New Year’s Eve post. Six years in which I said something like, “Boy this year was rough, but here’s hoping that next year will be … (calmer, less painful, less exhausting, etc.).” Six years in which each year has outdone the previous year’s difficulties and struggles, six very long years.
Please don’t mistake me for a pessimist or a chronically grumpy person. While these past six years I may have seemed that way, I promise you I am a generally happy person. These years have been rough, but they have not been without their blessings and joys. The trouble has been that they have been a mix of non-stop obligations and painful personal growth. It’s easy to say that one can cut back on obligations and not “do everything”, but that’s not always realistic. Children need active parents, bills require jobs, and parents do become terminally ill. When life gets complicated you just need to suck it up and do what needs to be done.
So this year I will not say, “Well it couldn’t be worse?” because God seems to be taking that as a challenge. This year, rather, I will present my case to God for a year of rest, a year of jubilee.
Leviticus 25: 3-5
For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyards and gather it’s fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap what grows of itself in your harvest, or gather the grapes of your undressed vine. It shall be a year of solemn rest for the land.
You created a world that requires rest. You created a Sabbath day as well as a Sabbath year. You knew we needed seasons of rest. Even the land needs to rest and the land doesn’t get emotionally exhausted. If the land requires rest, and you love me even more than the lilies of the valley (Matthew 6: 28) surely a rest would be good for my soul.
The past 6 years of growth (professional, emotional, relational, spiritual) as well as the utterly exhausting schedule of work and family obligations (dying parents to struggling teenagers) has really been rough. Please don’t get me wrong; I think my relationship with You has grown. I have prayed fervently and clung to you at my utter worst. This has been a wonderful bonus in the midst of these years, but I would prefer to enjoy this closeness in a more relaxed, less, “the Titanic is going down and I can’t hang onto this wooden door any longer, please help,” sort of way.
I would like a year where no one prunes my branches. Pruning is great for everyday growth, but letting the vines go unpruned once every 7 years is really good for them (I know I’m just making this up, but I’m going with it because I assume that’s why you made that rule.)
So, could this year be my year of jubilee: a year of restoration for the locust eaten years? Could this year be a year where tragedy doesn’t strike, joyful celebrations occurs, our family unites in peaceful harmony, and work and school are relaxing and joyful places where our minds and hearts can be fulfilled? How about it?