By Lindsay Schlegel
“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.” ~Matthew 2:12
Traditionally, today is the feast of the Epiphany, although your diocese likely celebrated it this past Sunday. This feast has always been one of my favorites. I’m inclined to suggest it’s worthwhile to spend more than one day reflecting on it and how it is full of joy and expectation, but equally instructive about surrender and trust.
Turning the Page
A new year often brings excitement for the change in the date on the calendar and hope for a fresh start. On some occasions, though, the year past has reminded us in particular ways that we are not in control of our lives.
We all know this on a certain level, but seeing it in action can be powerful. When something bigger than we are upends our plans and changes how we live day to day, we are forced to reacquaint ourselves with humility. If our hearts are open to it, we also have an opportunity to live a unique form of courage.
In Sunday’s Gospel reading, the magi display this kind of courage to me when they return home by another way. The magi chose option B out of fear of Herod, but more importantly, out of trust in the Lord.
He Doesn’t Leave Us
God doesn’t leave us in days, weeks, and months of uncertainty. He is constant, even if it takes different approaches to how we pray to experience that connection. God was, and is, and is to come.
The world can turn upside down, and He is still right there with each of us, loving us, holding us, providing for us. With certainty, we know this will be the case today, tomorrow, this year, and all the days to follow. It may not look like we expect, but He will always lead us home.
Lord, prepare my heart to hear your voice and to be willing, whenever You desire, to choose Your plans over my own.
Call to Action
Consider an event you’re anticipating this year—a wedding, a birth, a visit, a job change—and starting today, intentionally give it over to God. Each day until the event occurs, make a conscious effort to choose God’s will over your own, even if that means you must “return by another way.”