Wednesday, December 31, 2008

modest expectations

Just over a year ago, we moved to a suberb of Chicago, Illinois.

This year, Chicago is ranked first (possibly second) for the most murders in a city in 2008. And the state's governor has been accused of trying to sell his appointment to replace Obama's senate seat. This, in the midst of national and global financial meltdown. What a great place to be, eh.

I was reflecting on this as I began to think about the New Year.

In many ways, my expectations for the new year seem quite ordinary and unexceptional. I hope and pray that we'll be able to visit with our children and grandchildren, despite that fact that they are scattered to the four corners of this country. I hope and pray that our daily work will continue, investing in the next generation of Christian servants and seeking to reduce homelessness. I hope and pray that our lifestyle will be simple, but marked by generosity, prudence, and delight. I hope and pray that we will grow in grace and fellowship with God and our neighbors.

And then it occured to me: in a world of financial meltdown, political chaos, and killing violence, if we could stay focused on modest expectations like these, our lives would in fact shine like stars in this, our local universe.

How extraordinary.