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For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 

After the turmoil of the past year in our world, we’ve been wondering what’s around the corner for 2023? Some of us are afraid to follow this path. Some of us are stepping gingerly with hope for a good road ahead. Some of us are charging down the path ready to embrace whatever comes our way. Wherever we are it takes courage and patience to follow the unknown path into the future. 

Sometimes we’re surprised by what’s around the corner. Like the day I went for a late afternoon walk at a local park. I rounded the corner and just a few feet ahead of me a coyote was lying at the edge of the wood. I froze in initial fear not knowing what to expect. As I backed away slowly, he stood up looking at me and did a big stretch. I wondered if he was preparing to spring! But instead of running after me, he simply turned and sat down to watch the bunnies in the grass. He just sat, yawned, and observed the bunnies while I turned and walked a different direction around another corner.

It was an unexpected interaction with a surprising outcome. I felt a sense of danger when I was first surprised by the coyote not knowing what was in store for me on this wooded path. But the coyote just went about his business sitting calmly like a pet dog waiting for a treat. It had no interest in me whatsoever. It reminded me that sometimes the path we want to take isn’t right, and it’s ok to take another path.  

I was also reminded that sometimes the unexpected turns out to be for good. Surprises aren’t always to be feared. I want to remember that when I find a surprise around the corner in 2023. I want to be like the coyote. To take it easy, stretch, and observe. To stay calm, redirect, and seek direction from God. In faith, we can face the future with hope even when we don’t know what’s ahead knowing God’s plans are for good. 

So what’s around the corner this year? We will have to wait and see. But we wait in hope.

Rounding the corner, Pastor Andrea