I started 2013 at 30,000 feet. My plane took off from the Charles de Gaulle International Paris Airport at 11:59pm December 31st, 2012. To my great dismay, my seat selection to sit by a window in hopes of seeing some fireworks from the air were shattered. I thought the transition into the new year would go unnoticed. It would have been until an old Asian woman sitting behind my cried out something in Chinese, which everyone else (and myself) used the break of silence to all shout, “Happy New Year” and clap.
Soaring high above the Europe, the Mediterranean, and Kenya was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the great feats, worries, moments of tears, laughter, and beauty God has orchestrated in the passing year. Being in a plane celebrating the new year was a fairly ironic summary of what the last 12 months have looked like for me—globe-trotting, sojourning, the crazy-blessed life of a gospel gypsy (whatever you want to call it, it’s all the same).
With the droning hum of the 747 engines and the frequent pauses of the pen in my journal, several key conclusions about 2012 slowly blossomed into mind. 1) The greatest tectonic shifts of my short life, thus far, have happened in Africa. 2) I did not choose Africa. God did. 3) I went to Africa to try bring about change and spiritual growth in the lives of the beautiful people down here. I am finding that the most notable change is found within me. 4) God works in the small things. He is a God of detail, insomuch as He is a god of surprises. 5) God cares about the small things. (After all, He was in the very fabric of the Israelites’ clothes as they wondered through the wilderness for 40 years (Neh. 9:21). 6) What a comfort it is to have a comforter like Jesus. He has the compass and map for what adventures, mountains, and valleys that will unfold.
Gazing out of the window, I was overcome with the ecclesiastical feeling of Solomon in his old age, looking back on his long life trying to distill the essential lessons. My thoughts flooded with all of the amazing people and places God has brought into my life. Goosebumps raised at one of the reassuring cornerstones of my faith. Our God is a god of abundance. Easing the chair back, I could only come up with one resolution that I found fit to make heading back to my South African home and into the unknown of 2013, “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth. Let us press on to know Him.”