This post is being published at exactly midnight on New Year’s day, Phoenix time, so Happy New Year! Goodbye 2020, hello 2021!
2020 has been one hectic year. Crazy, in fact. Between weddings, lockdowns, graduation, work, the election, and whatnot, I hardly know what to think.
A lot of people complain about 2020 being the worst year ever, but I can think of a lot worse ones. Try 1862, for example, or 1917, or 1942, or 2001. Personally the worst year of my life was 2019. We’ve got a lot to be thankful for, and in some ways we need to grow up and realize how blessed we are, even with pandemics, lockdowns, riots, a crazy election, and a government that has decided that it is no longer accountable to the law of the land (they haven’t started killing people yet, so that’s a plus). It’s funny, how we all started the year with such optimism. Lots of talk about 20/20 vision, when instead we’ve felt like we’re stumbling around in the dark. In some ways it is a really bad year for America, since we have decided to reject the blessings of freedom this country has had to-date and to move towards full-blown socialism. In other ways, we haven’t gotten the half of what we deserve as a nation who has rejected God. I believe a lot worse is to come, but God has been merciful in giving us opportunities to stop and repent.
For me personally, 2020 wasn’t all that bad of a year. Started off great with a trip to the Pacific ocean, which was a first time for most of my family. Next was my sister’s wedding in February. I started work part time at a glass factory as I finished school. When the ‘rona hit, I was barely effected, except for classes being canceled. My church had to leave the school we were meeting at and move around just to be able to meet (been in over five locations this year). I finished up my high school education and my associates degree at the same time. Had an awesome Fourth of July party involving a real deal black powder potato cannon. I began work full time at the glass plant, then switched to a custom machine company. I graduated as one of five of my buddies (and got dunked in a dog pool to celebrate). I started learning penny whistle, and quickly acquired seven. My buddy and I carpool to work, and I got to be friends with his baby sister, which is awesome because I like kids so much. I voted in my first election. We went to New Mexico for Thanksgiving. I crashed another car. Two, actually. I got a blue car with chipping paint affectionately named rusty. I got into gear with my book and finally finished the fifth or sixth draft. I wrote this blog post.
Yes, there’s been tough times all throughout. There were times I felt lonely and isolated, even from those closest to me. I’ve had my fair share of worries over the growing tyranny in the land of the free and home of the brave. My Grandma Reynolds died on December 29th. I’ve felt my share of apathy and why-even-try-anymore this past year.
But through it all I’ve felt God calling me to a closer walk with Him. Calling me not to rely on myself and to give it all to Him. I’ve had some great struggles and failures this past year, but I’ve also made huge traction against temptations that have dogged me for nearly a decade. God has been good through it all.
It’s not likely that things will get better in this year of 2021. The troubles in our nation are only likely to compound tenfold. Our struggles don’t stop when the calendar turns over. The new year starts like the old one ended. What can be new, though, is our perspective.
Sometimes we need a reset. Sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves and acknowledge that things are gonna be tough moving forward. I believe that these trials ahead are something we need to embrace and trust God to lead us through. Our circumstances won’t change, but our outlook on life can. Life isn’t meant to be easy. Life is a journey, with obstacles and challenges along the way, but it is those things that are designed by God to shape us into who He wants us to be.
So as we go into 2021, lets have 20/20 vision. The vision of hindsight as we move forward into the future. To take the things that God has taught us in all the challenges this past year, and take them into this new year, and let us form a New vision. A vision that remembers that we are just traveling through this world, and that beyond the Jordan awaits the world to come, which is really the point of this world all along.
Happy New Year!