The discomfort for them and for many of us, comes in looking forward. Now, to be sure, some are forward thinkers. Some are planners (I avoid the redundant 'forward planners', after all how can you plan otherwise?) And in a way, we all plan, anticipate, dream, look ahead. We want to know who is going to be at the meeting. What time will my favorite game or show be on television? When is that appointment at the dentist?
But the bigger picture and the bigger questions are also in view for planners. Questions like what happens if I lose my job? Where do I find groceries when I move houses? Who will look after me when I'm old?
See what I mean? That's uncomfortable.
And I don't wish you discomfort at all in 2010. But the reality is-- the unknown is discomforting. Back in the biblical days of the Jewish people, then called the Hebrews, leaving Egypt was something for which they longed and prayed. 400 years of being in the wrong place, then finally God and Moses and Passover and voila, out we go. Hooray, God answered our prayers, but before too long, some didn't like the freedom of not knowing.
We read "And as Pharaoh drew near, the sons of Israel looked, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they became very frightened; so the sons of Israel cried out to the LORD. Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” (Exodus 14.10-12)
The discomfort of the wilderness and the attending freedoms were too much for some of the people. They preferred the known over the unknown. Even though it included slavery and despair. Fascinating, eh?
So what will you do in 2010? Will you be looking forward, anticipating and dreaming? Of course, there are real troubles ahead for world economies and for people on some airplanes. Yes, there will be terrorist attacks and reasons to worry.
The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside; I shall be slain in the streets!” (Proverbs 22.13) That gives the sluggard a reason to stay inside and worry and waste away and do nothing. But 2010 is a year for taking control of your own life and doing what needs to be done.
Are you looking forward with me? Let's dream together. Let's make the world a better place. Let's bring God's life to all people, in all places.