In autumn – a season of new beginnings – we return to our routines. We go back to school. We enter a new year of church life. In the first days of fall, I relish the opportunity to sit down with my calendar and anticipate the coming months. But I tend to over-plan. If I’m not careful, I can find myself clinging to my own meticulously crafted blueprints for the future.
To be sure, God is at work in our plans. The poet Hafiz, in the poem “Tripping Over Joy,” writes that God lovingly invites us to direct and meaningful engagement, “to a sublime chess game.” God observes our plans and moves through them, moving God’s own knights, rooks, and pawns as we move ours. But Hafiz also recognizes that God is full of surprises.
This fall, may we revel in God’s unexpected work through and beyond us. May we trip over joy together, bursting out in laughter and rejoicing with open hearts.
This message is excerpted from “Strategy of grace” by Hannah Hawkinson in the October 2018 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate William Tyndale, translator, martyr, 1536.
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