All shall be well. All shall be well. Every manner of thing shall be well.
So wrote the mystic Julian of Norwich; she was the head of an order of nuns in England some eight centuries ago. “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.” Her words beautifully capture the spirit of Psalm 23. They, too, are words of assurance and comfort.
Happiness and joy are two different things. I know that there are smart, even brilliant, people who would argue that this is not the case, that happiness and joy are the same. Perhaps in a time gone by, the two words had more in common. Today? I don’t think so.
In the age of social media, there is added pressure to show the world our perfection. We post photos of the kids doing great things or showing how well they are doing in school. The birthday photos and the graduation pictures. The piano recitals and the awards that were hard earned.
It is that time of year when we often “look back” over what happened last year. Christmas letters detail vacations taken, milestones marked, a synopsis of joys and sorrows. Organizations send out summaries of accomplishments, goals met, and accomplishments to celebrate. It is good to look back, especially if we do it with a spirit of thanksgiving for God’s presence in the middle of it all.