I was just thinking about 2020.
December felt different this year, as have most of the months of 2020. It has been a year unlike anything most of us have known.
I heard these comments in December, “we can hardly wait until 2020 is behind us”, “finally the last month of the year is here.” Except it’s not the year 2020 that’s to blame! The coronavirus Covid-19 is what’s affecting the world. And it’s unlikely that changing the year to 2021—turning that one page—is going to make any difference to the virus.
Many predicted 2020 would be the year of focus—after all perfect vision is 20/20—and looked forward to the year. But since Covid-19’s arrival…it’s almost as if the year was written off.
On the other hand, what if some upheaval of the “normal” everyday was the only way to bring life into focus? Would a “normal” year with a catchy number be enough for people to contemplate what’s important in life?
Would we have learned to value our freedoms more? Would we have spent more time together as a family at home? Conversed more? Played together more? Turned the “busy” off? Returned to the simple, healing pleasures and joys of baking, gardening, crafting and hobbies? Would there have been the time for more reading?
More importantly, without this tiny, unseen-with-the-naked-eye virus, would we have turned to God as much as we have this year? Whether in gratitude, need or anger, He loves to have us speak to Him.
In 2020 how many people had so much more time on their hands that they remembered God, and their excuse of “sorry, no time for You today” echoed hollow in their mind? With the racing around and the unbroken scream of “I’m too busy” stilled, how many now heard that sweet whisper of God?
With church activities halted and church doors closed on Sundays for much of the year, how many of us missed gathering with our Church family… big “C” Church—the fellow-believers.
How many appreciate family more because we just haven’t been able to see many of them much, if at all, this year.
And as we see the back of December, do we view the health workers with greater appreciation? The teachers with gratitude? Do we see the grocery story and pharmacy workers, the truckers, the garbage men and factory workers, the folks who work in coffee shops and restaurants. Do we not see them all with new eyes? These people who are often invisible to many, let alone appreciated. Now they are.
Can we empathize with those whose families live so far away they rarely see each other in person? Has our experience of isolation given us insight into loneliness, depression, fear or anxiety? Do we have more compassion for those who are homeless and have no safe place to “stay home, stay safe”? Has the grip on our money loosened to help those in need?
As we count our blessings is our list longer now as we take less things for granted?
It wasn’t how we imagined it, but perhaps the year 2020 will go down in the hearts of many as the year of focus. Focusing on what’s important. It’s not things, or activities. Important isn’t judged by the the scale of busy. People, God—those are the truly important. Treat others as you want to be treated. Love God. Spend time with Him. That is 20/20 focus.
After all God is the only One who is with you through all the regulations, “stay home, stay safe,” the lockdowns… and when you’re truly alone in mind, spirit or body.
At least, that’s what I think.
Let’s journey together…