The last 9 months have been the most difficult of my life. My work has suffered. My health wasn’t good – both Chris and I had Covid 19.  (I’m pretty sure mine was actually Covid 20 as I felt especially sick. Or….maybe I’m just a guy).

The Presidential election was the most painful I’ve experienced.  The fact that many of my close friends (and family) supported a man who is antithetical to everything Jesus stands for, still confuses and hurts me.

The simple fact that no lives can truly matter until black ones do – seems self evident. But, as it turns out – it’s not.

So many reasons to be angry or depressed about this past year. But you know what – I’m not.

It really was hard. In very tangible and literal ways.  A sh#t-show might be the best way to describe it.  And….it was beautiful.  We know this but it’s easy to forget.  Yes, people got sick and some even died.  And without being hard or calloused to those who lost loved ones – particularly when they couldn’t be visited – it may have exposed our Western myth of immortality.  Hopefully it makes us stop to smell the roses a bit more and spend time right now with those we love most.

The argument over the value of the lives of black Americans may have (hopefully) exposed latent racism that is still quite prevalent in our country. And it can can help us move forward and heal.

I believe that the Christian support of Trump has shown many of us that the idolatry of American Exceptionalism is still alive and well in the church and must be trampled out.

All of us being forced to stay home and have more time with our immediate families – well, this hardly even needs mentioning.

I believe that churches not meeting and some never to re-open is perhaps the biggest blessing of all. I pray it reminds us that God does not dwell within walls (since the days of the Ark of the Covenant), but does, in fact, live within each of us. And that “church” truly is an organic natural occurrence when a few of us intentionally spend time together in Jesus’ name.

2020 was a hard year.  But pain, trials and tribulations are evident in every life lived in the Scriptures and are in ours as well.  And in the end – yep. We die.  So all that matters is what we do with our time between now and that wonderful day.  Will we snipe at others from the sidelines? Gripe and grump about our own misfortunes?

Or will we stand up and be counted. Make a small difference. Hug a neighbor.  Bake cookies for an enemy.  And carry on in the beautiful way of the Messiah. Living and loving every day.  I choose that.