The approaching year is looming out there in the near distance like the moon on a cloudless night. But instead of getting smaller as the night rolls in, it’s getting larger. Still a bit mysterious. Still undiscovered. We know what it is in general, but we don’t know exactly what it will look like. We are indeed seeing through a glass darkly.
It’s like a large ship getting ready to launch out into uncharted waters. We know he’s commissioned us; we know he’s spoken. We know he’s given us the command, “Launch out into the deep waters.” And we, like Peter, take a deep breath and try not to say, “But we’ve fished all night,” but rather to join in with the latter part of his statement: “Nevertheless, at your word, Lord, we will do it.” We don’t know exactly how it will look, what storms we will encounter, what he will consider success for us in this new phase of our journey.
Nevertheless we prepare to launch. We gather our family, our belongings, and provision for the journey as best we know how, and move onto the ship. Then we wait. When the wind begins to blow, the sails will lift and the boat will embark. Until then we remain in position, anticipating that powerful force to fully launch us into those deeper waters.
We have no idea how many other boats are waiting in the wings ready to follow, just needing someone to go first. Could there be two, three, or several thousand?
Could Columbus have foreseen modern-day America when he climbed on board the Santa Maria? DId Amerigo Vespucci know that two continents would eventually bear his name when he began his voyage?
So it is with trembling knees we prepare for our launch and with our ears leaned in closely to the master’s heart.