In Search Of A Prickly New Metaphor For A New Year

It’s another new year…what will we do we with it….? or better put what will it do with us….? that’s always the question that pops up around this time… then is quickly forgotten in the maze of everyday living.

But perhaps we can give this annual question a different look.

Usually when the Gospels tell and re-tell the great stories about Jesus and his life on this earth, we use them for all kinds of metaphors. Metaphors like water as a symbol for his cleansing message, and fish as symbols of his listeners. But what about another image? The image of the hills he walked those three years?

After all, throughout his preaching in Galilee and Judea, he walked hills of all shapes, sizes, and colors. The one thing that stands out about hills is they are either sloping up or sloping down. Just maybe that’s a handy image or metaphor for this coming new year. You and I can’t be sure of much, but we can certainly be sure our travels will take us on an upward trajectory, then later a downward one. The higher the first, the deeper the second.

So that’s going to be my new metaphor for 2015. Not very spectacular, but very apropos of these next 300+ days. Whenever I am joyous at the prospects of something good up ahead, I vow to savor those prospects…

….and yet at the very same time, I will gird for the other side of the hill. For the fall. I will try to remember that there is often a downside to every joy; yet even more so to remember there is usually an upside to every fall. If we chose to walk with Jesus this new year, surely we should expect it will be a hilly journey.

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