I wrote this blog post for New Year’s 2009 (you know, during the economic recession). As I pondered leaving behind 2020 (thank, God!) and looking through the dark hours of the pandemic, I realized my 2009 meanderings are just as applicable entering 2021 as entering 2009.
But before you dip into reading this post, I just had to share this funny tidbit as we say, “Good riddance to 2020.”
So, now that you’ve collected yourself from a jolly laugh, here’s my New Year’s resolving for 2021. Care to join me in these resolutions…?
New Year’s “I Resolve”
As I considered my New Year’s resolutions, I realized they looked very different if I thought of them not as “resolutions” but rather in terms of “I resolve.” The word “resolve” has such a solid, resolute sound to it, while a resolution reminds me of having an airy-fairy, flight of fancy regarding what this year should look like. So…
- I resolve to exercise four times per week for a minimum of 30 minutes. (Hmmm, I wonder if licking my fingers after snacking could be included in those 30 minutes.)
- I resolve to look at the world more as my dog, Murphy, does. No, not that I plan to sniff my way along the path of life, but rather that he notes even minute changes when he lopes into a room. He lives life large yet observes the small differences and enjoys exploring whatsoever is new. May I do so as well.
- I resolve to live slower. The momentum of life seems to pick up every year. I want to control my time rather than have “emergencies” rule my world.
- I resolve not to live in fear. Between the decrying of the economic situation and the fragility of life, it’s easy to run on the adrenaline of fear. I choose not to let that be the sum of my 2009.
The Beauty in Life
For 2021, I would add not to lose sight of how a life stripped of so many normal pleasures–being with extended family, going to the grocery store and feeling carefree in doing so, eating in a restaurant with friends, traveling whenever and wherever I pleased–leaves many simple pleasures to treasure. There’s much beauty in life even now; I don’t want to miss noticing it.
I don’t know that “happy new year” is a fitting greeting to 2021 so I’m going with “let’s count our blessings!”
Along with your “not living in fear,” I resolve not to live so as not to die, but to live so as to live the life God gives me. 2020 has taught me to keep my eyes on Him, seeking His wisdom when the “submarine” catches me by surprise (it didn’t surprise Him!) and being ready to move forward as He reveals each next step.
That’s such a good point, Karen. Thanks.
“Like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by a submarine.” I love this kid! Thank you for the laugh and here’s to counting our blessings.
When I think back on 2020, it seems to me the Year of Missed Opportunity.
An Almighty God can prevent pandemic (as He can prevent cancer, but that’s a musing for another day)…and He did not.
He gave us a chance to react with grace, and for us, specifically as Christians, to set an example of leadership and love. We largely failed, I think, and failed badly.
I rather doubt that a future Tom Brokaw will call this The Greatest Generation, and perhaps we need look more closely to the past (as politically incorrect as some of those examinations may be) to find a way forward…and, in future crisis, to redeem ourselves.
When with a good mate I spoke
a little while ago,
we wondered if they’d time to joke
at the Alamo.
Or at far Isandlwana,
impis closing for the kill,
did humour become manna
as they paid the butchers’ bill
that God decreed must now come due,
this fate that He allowed;
these Men of Old now speak to you
and me, and they stand proud,
for as they walked their final mile,
I fancy some still wore a smile.
Oh, and one more, if I may, in Murphy’s honour…
If Christ was born down under
would He’ve been wrapped in outback togs,
and attended (oh, I wonder!)
by Australian Shepherd Dogs
who brought their sheep down from the hills
and quickly Holy Stable found,
and with strong eyes are stronger wills
started bossing folks around?
“Mary, lass, support His head;
He’s your first, but really, have a care!
And Joseph, do stand here instead;
will you give the Kid some air?
Royal Bloke! Yeah, you with the gold,
your cloak, please; can’t you see He’s cold?”
This merry piece made me smile. Yup, Australian Shepherds are nothing if not protective–and bossy. Although they’d probably describe themselves as “wisely directive.”
Kristen Joy Wilks
Yes! Despite so many mind-boggling difficulties and troubles, there have been so many blessings. The political unrest is worrying and painful on relationships. The pandemic is frightening, I’ve lost an uncle to Covid and am currently praying for a dear friend whose child keeps getting rushed to the ER with an incredibly serious post-covid inflammatory reaction even though his case of Covid was mild. And yet, in the midst of these very real concerns, we have also been so very blessed. I have watched God walk with us in this tough tough season. Being home with my three sons, sledding, hiking, playing board games, reading books together. These moments have been priceless. They have never had a summer together with their dad. Scruff has always been working seven days a week every summer of their lives (he’s a Bible camp director) and this was the first time we had quiet summer days together instead of a couple of quiet summer hours stolen here and there in the middle of the rush. I don’t want to return to the frantic schedules of before. I think that so many of us have learned the great value of these sweet moments spent together. The value of family as well as the value of some of these things we are missing. I want to go into the new year simply living each day with my Lord, He is with us, even in this. He will still be Immanuel in times of peace and healing as well as times of trouble.
It’s true, Kristen, that we’ve learned much about the simple joys of life. When our days are stripped from all the paraphernalia that we tend to dress them up in, a sunset seems all the more stunning and the smile of a loved one all the more special.
Janet, I loved that quote from the nine-year-old boy. 🙂 A submarine indeed . . . it came out of nowhere. This year has definitely been difficult. But, though we had NO CLUE a year ago what 2020 would hold, our Father did. I’ve looked for the blessings and for “God’s fingerprints” in my days. He taught me some good lessons and realigned some of my priorities. He gave me some wonderful time and conversations with my boy-men, and with my husband, who didn’t travel nearly as much as normal. It was a different kind of year, but God walked with us through every single second of it.
Yes, God has been with us through even our submarine year. And how comforting to know he’ll still be Immanuel in 2021, which will have it’s own kind of submarine waiting for us.