Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Day and Providence

New Year's Day Rebekah and I spent the afternoon in Sarasota, with my parents and - almost -the entire Maul side of the family. It's a small group, but the eleven of us managed to fill their small house with a lot of noise and laughter. Only Andrew (our son in Italy) was missing, but we all managed to talk with him before we sat down to eat.

Here's the roster:
  • My parents, Grace Kemp and David Maul.
  • My brother - Geoff, along with his daughter - Hannah, her husband - Andrew Roberts, and their children - Haley and Hudson (#3 is on the way).
  • Then me; Rebekah; our daughter Naomi, and her husband - Craig Campbell.
Before the meal we joined hands together and gave thanks. We thanked God for our family, the food, and the amazing providence that brought us all to that place and time. It's the beginning of a new year, and the concept of providence is foundational to the journey I am taking into 2009 - so I'm going to re-iterate my definition of the idea one more time.
  • A lot of people confuse providence with fatalism, but the two ideas are nowhere near compatible. Providence is the confluence of our Creator's best intention and his people's sometimes hesitant response. Without our willing participation, God's purpose for our lives and for this world is seldom realized with the specific impact of the original design. We were created for active partnership with the divine, but that ideal remains an illusive dream outside of our day-by-day decision to follow Jesus...
So the afternoon unfolded with conversation, many pots of tea, games, photographs, memories, hopes and dreams. None of us know the exact path 2009 will take; but we do understand with growing clarity the assurance of God's presence in and through the journey.

Check in from time to time and see where we all end up!
Love and blessings - DEREK

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