“Steadfast” is an old-fashioned word. It means steady, unwavering or determined in purpose. It reminds me of those black and white films I used to watch on a Sunday afternoon with my mother, when the thoroughly decent chap finally got the girl, after she had been mistreated by the complete rotter. The thoroughly decent chap remained steadfast in his love and was there, ready, when his moment came. Many of us have people in our lives who are like that (thoroughly decent, not complete rotters). We know that we can depend upon them, that they are safe and solid. Indeed, MCC Newcastle would grind to a complete halt without the steadfast work of so many individuals who are unwavering in their commitment to serve God and each of us.
At the end of an old year, and the beginning of a new one, it is time to take stock, to clear away the clutter. I know one person who is thoroughly spring-cleaning her house from top to bottom. I have been going through my wardrobe and clearing out some clothes. A new year is also the time to really examine what is important to us. The “New Beginnings” we seek are often about trying to put our energy into the relationships and activities that most matter to us. The song talks about all the different ways that we get buffeted by life and become distracted by many things – “lesser lights and fleeting shadows”. Having a steadfast spirit enables us to focus on those things that are truly important and stick with them, even when life is challenging or things seem to be going in a completely different direction.
We are also reminded that God is steadfast, always present, always loving. Resting in God’s presence will help us to be ready when our moment comes. With a steadfast God and a steadfast spirit, it is amazing what we can do.