A New Year

A New Year

In our time it does not often happen that people face the future full of confidence.  Everywhere sounds concern about the future, fear of the future, doom-thinking about what the future has in store for us.  There is even a “no-future-generation,” young people for whom the future is hopeless.  How can they, how can we have hope for the future?  Isn’t it an illusion when at the beginning of the year we wish each other Happy New Year?

Indeed, in the world that is built by human hands the security of existence is steadily crumbling away.  It is as if we no longer stand on firm ground, as if from time to time the water rises to our lips, as if the only choice we have left is: survive or drown.  How can you wish someone who has the water standing at his lips a Happy New Year?

In the physical world happiness is often hard to find.  Wealth does not usually bring happiness; of course, neither does poverty.  Happiness must be found far from the perishable world—in an invisible world which we call providence.  In this word you recognize a world that foresees in the spirit what is going to happen, even before it becomes earthly reality.  But the word “providence” also has another meaning: the spiritual world provides for our needs, and takes care of us—albeit often in very different ways than we imagine.*

One thing is certain concerning the future that is waiting for us: less and less will we be able to build on outer certainty of existence.  But whatever happens, we can build on trust in the ever present help of the spiritual world.  You don’t find this help on every street corner; it isn’t thrown into your lap.  You have to keep your eyes and ears open for the people who cross your path, for the possibilities life is offering you, for the lucky circumstances that may occur.  That asks for uninterrupted wakefulness.  But in due course we will then recognize that in our fate and destiny we are never alone.  The Lord of fate and destiny, the Lord of providence, goes with us, always, at all times, to the end of the world.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, 1-10-2021.

* The Latin word provideo means literally: to see ahead, foresee, see into the future, as well as: to provide for, to take care of someone or something.

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