I woke up this morning thinking about the future. It’s funny how the New Year can bring about thoughts of the future. I decided that it was my goal to have a positive attitude about working out this year. Positive attitudes only seem possible without doubt though.

I woke up this morning thinking about the future with hope surging throughout my body, but there is also immense crippling fear and trembling resonating right along with that hope. I am not sure what I am afraid of but for some reason I can’t help but notice that I am fearful. Yes, I said it, I am fearful and I am still a Christian. Is that sacrilegious? Last night I had one of my weekly conversations with my friend Matthew W. and we were doing our usual small talk where we express what we have been up to lately. As I was talking about myself I became aware of a pattern in my life that I hadn’t noticed before. I had realized that nearly all of my actions and behaviors over the last month have been based off of the premise that I was fearful of something. I was searching for more time on the internet where I could control my environment, I was in a constant state of fight or flight, I wanted to sleep longer than usual, and I wasn’t interested in being healthy even in the smallest way.

I woke up this morning thinking about the future. We Christians have a lot of superstitions. Yes, I said that, too, and in Christianity we often look down on fear. Recently I have been reading The Gift of the Red Bird by D’Arcy. One of the things the author states is that we need to hold on to fear because it makes us more aware, but she also says that we need to name our problems, otherwise we can’t fix them. I am now into the last term of my seminary program and have come to realize that it is not my program but our program. I have become a part of a community of people that I am afraid will vanish after I graduate. These last four years have been extremely stretching and extremely rewarding I will always love those I have come to know. Palmer (Pastor of the Adopted Church) once told me that church isn’t about the organization but it is about the people and the relationships.

I wake up this morning thinking about the future. My family lives in a small town called Ellensburg and we Panattoni’s can trace our ancestry all the way back to Italy and other places. My grandmother used to tell me stories about our heritage how we helped bring the elk to this valley, about how my dad still has the guns of my great ancestors who would feed the gold miners in Alaska by way of hunting, how my relatives were friends and what they did together to call this home. The truth is I love this valley and I stand at the abyss of change. Is it a survival instinct to just get up and move on? I worry for my children and the future they might have. When I was young all I wanted was change and now all I want is consistency. For all that it is worth I am pretty sure that I am afraid to move on.

photo credit: skampy via photopin cc

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