The title of this column, “Horizons,” calls us to lift our gaze up and out to look ahead, to scan the horizon and peer into the future. It’s always out there in front of us, isn’t it, but sometimes we forget and look down or look back to find orientation and meaning.
In a recent piece in The Christian Century, Peter Marty writes about the importance of living life forward. He measured the windshield in his car (five by three feet) and then measured his rear-view mirror (nine by two inches.) This is by design, he noted. We drive looking ahead, not looking back. Same with life, he suggests. Life isn’t meant to be lived in the rearview mirror.
Living in the rearview mirror is tempting sometimes in our personal lives in those moments when it feels like life was so much better back when…you can fill in the blank for yourself. It’s tempting now, too, in the church and in the larger society, as the COVID pandemic lingers and morphs. It’s so tempting to just want everything to “be like it was before…” We’d rather live in the rearview mirror than lift our heads and hearts to face the future with eagerness and hope.
Marty paraphrases Kierkegaard’s assertion that life can only be understood backward, but it has to be lived forward. And what better reminder of that than the arrival of Ruby Marcelina Guerrero, the newest member of the Guerrero family and the family of this faith community. She’s a bundle of new life–incarnate, beautiful, a living witness to all the possibility that lies ahead. Thanks be to God!
So let’s all take a deep breath, put a smile on our face, and look up. Look around. Look ahead. Scan the horizon. Let’s live forward into this time of rebirth and renewal in our lives, our families, our church, our world. God is still calling us, loving us, promising us a future and a hope. Let’s be part of welcoming baby Ruby into new life beyond our imagining.