It’s that time of year when we make irrational promises to ourselves about the year ahead and life in general. Taking more exercise, eating less, getting organized…restarting the blog. Well the fact that this is on the site and being read is some indication of resolution being shown, albeit at 9.30 pm on the first day of the new year.

However the fact that today now marks the longest we have been in any house for 17 months, and we have been in three, there is some hope that a routine may begin to settle in to life for this Ulster Scot in Coventry. Not that there won’t be travel and its accompanying dislocation. Plans are already in place for trips to Germany ( 3 times), Russia and the US as well as regular travel to Ireland for various ongoing commitments.

But it is not just the physical dislocation that I anticipate as the year starts – it is the ongoing reshaping and crossing of boundaries that comes with the job that I most look forward to. Getting to know new people and new communities, facing new challenges and understanding anew what it may mean to live within the grace of God for another year. All of this brings opportunity for growth and sharing as well as the occasion to mess up, something that being older does not always eradicate through being somehow wiser.

In particular this is the year when the dreams and vision for what it is I am in Coventry to do must find their tangible outworking in the launch of new initiatives and a clear sense of purpose in investing the limited reserves of time and energy.  There are good things which will distract and knowing which to lay aside to focus on what will make the greatest difference will continue to be a challenge.

As I look into the year ahead it is with a huge debt to the years that have past and the people that have left their thumbprint on my life that makes it even possible to contemplate what lies ahead. One of those who passed away this year was Theo Williams, an evangelist and bible woman who 33 years ago as a veteran missionary about to retire took an interest in a young upstart and had an influence of which she was probably unaware, in kick starting the journey which has brought him to this place in 2010.