The Year: No More Waiting
This year feels like a dream. With graduation just behind, every moving box ousted to recycling, and present reality feeling much like playing house, I find myself in a new era. That diploma and those vanquished boxes mark the beginning of a time I have dreamt of for quite awhile. This is my year.
Before explaining what I mean by “my year,” allow me to introduce myself. I am Leanna, a woman with several must-make-real dreams and a deep fascination with things of old. I am easily distracted by sunsets and other pretty cloud-happenings. In my opinion, there is nothing like a good front-porch-sitting, tea-sipping, music-making, story-telling gathering with friends, neighbors, or whoever else that might wander up. Meeting people thrills me to the core. I enjoy crafting, walking, reading, cooking, and scheming up ways to farm in the city—all of which I count as some resistance to the consumerism and convenience-driven bent of today’s culture (so tempting!).
I am a woman called to ministry. Hospitality, Sustainability, and Imagination are three themes God fosters within my calling. More than anything, I want to join with God in bringing the Kingdom in the unique ways He has shaped in me and, thus, empower others to do the same.
I studied religion in school and spent major brain power where sociology and faith intersect—God and human folk completely astound me. My boyfriend and I were Preministerial Scholars and friends together for three years there, and then we fell in love. He starts seminary in the fall while I put down roots in the Real World for one year. For my year.
My year is about trying and testing bit by bit all that I have been learning and wrestling with for the past four years. I hope that through making others feel welcome in my home, learning the basic skills I need to live lightly on God’s earth, taking on my own livelihood, and continuously trying my voice in this world I might make some progress. A local farm-to-table restaurant and a little townhouse in the city serve as setting for this venture, and my church provides the support I need. As do my scattered best friends.
I have high hopes for this year. After all, this is life I am living. There is no time like the present, and there is no time but the present.
But this is where I have a problem.
Though I have been looking forward to this year for so long, I find myself discontent in certain moments. I am excited for the opportunities that have opened and work I have to do, but I keep dreaming myself to the future. When I am less than challenged at work—when I am sweeping the floor for the umpteenth time in one shift—I wonder myself away from the moment and strain for a glimpse of the future.
And yet, it is in those ordinary and mundane moments that just in the far corner of my wishing and wondering self I feel a small stirring inside, like a soft tugging at my heart. I feel the Spirit’s gentle invitation to the present. The Voice beckons me to consider stepping into Reality and to open my eyes to the coming Kingdom around me.
I have been waiting for this year for so long, but it is apparent that there is no more waiting. There will never be anymore waiting, for, in the Kingdom of God, every moment is an opportunity for love, service, creativity, peace-making, and prayer. Every moment is an opportunity for Light to flicker out darkness, and truth to set folks free.
No more waiting. The Year has come. Jesus brought it into this world a long time ago (Luke 4:18-19). Here’s to the present.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”