I have always enjoyed peeking around the corner to see what I might discover, imagining what might be coming next, relishing the experience of waiting and the time of preparation. I vividly remember a childhood experience when my parents had planned an exciting vacation trip but did not tell us about it until the last minute – I felt cheated out of the joy of anticipation that for me is one of the best parts of any journey.
There is also the adventure, the thrill of un-knowing, when change awaits but we do not really know things may turn out. That stage of anticipation calls for both patience and courage, yes, but it also frees our imaginations to create all sorts of wonderful scenarios about the next stage of our shared journey.
Universalist professor of Religious Education, Angus MacLean, offers a story about facing into the future:
My father sent me up from the root cellar to see about the wind. He was rechecking the winter’s potatoes to remove all signs of rot and was planning on setting out nets for some fresh cod later on. Was there a steady breeze, he wanted to know. Yes, there was. “Now face it,” he said, “so that the wind sings in both your ears. Then tell me where your nose points to.”
… .We wonder about truth, about all the whats and whys and whithers of life. Wondering is very important, but it should bear the fruits of faith and thought, and it should turn our faces to whatever is coming down the winds of time and circumstance. …. What is it that’s coming down the wind to meet us? … all that lies between us and life’s exits calls for courage, thought, imagination, and active concern… let’s keep the wind singing in both ears, and pray for the courage to interpret and act upon what it brings to us.
In this time as we await the unfolding future, may we cherish these moments in beloved community as we imagine together the wonders that we and the power of universal love will create together.
“The Wind in Both Ears,” by Angus MacLean, in The Wind in Both Ears (Boston: Beacon Press, 1965).