This blog has often played with the theme of reading patterns. While some of that means observing present concurrent phenomena, most of the time it means reading the past and making sense of the present from what we find there.
At the conclusion of one year and the opening of the next, people typically 'take stock' and try to gain perspective.
In a way, this photo summarises my experience of standing at the start of January, looking forward and looking back. The view behind is much clearer and more complete than the tiny glimpse in the bottom left-hand corner which is 'the road ahead'.
Yes, it is inevitable there will be some continuity with what has gone before: after all, as the picture reminds me: 'Objects in mirror are closer than they appear'. The year past is not all that far behind. Nor the year behind it. And some of what was set in motion then rolls over into now and tomorrow.
Last year was an amazing year. A new job, new house, new suburb, new friends, new baby. It was a year with surprisingly few regrets, and many surprising discoveries. Experiences of truth, kindness, grace that could not have been anticipated.
It was a year of discovering strengths and weaknesses that I didn't know I had. In many ways, it was a year of fumbling and bumbling, trying to pick the way through some unfamiliar territory. It was a year of gut instincts and prayer, mistakes and little victories.
The forward view is limited, cracked. The present - let alone the future - is hard to see well. We see in a mirror somewhat more clearly than we do through a window.
Yet neither is seen with fullness of perspective. For that we wait for more than a new year; we wait for the revealing of the One who completes all, and who sees all - without cracks or omissions.