Here’s to getting traction in the new year. We all know how 2020 left us slip sliding every which way as we navigated new territory of the virulent COVID-19, empty grocery store shelves, toilet paper shortages, work from home, and on and on.
We Made It Through
I for one am ready to move forward with sure footing. This morning on my walk with Maisie, we encountered a number of snow and ice patches. Although homeowners in my city are legally required to clear snow from sidewalks within 24 hours of the last falling snowflake, many do not. So their sidewalks become a skating rink as the snow melts and refreezes over several days. For much of our walk, we crossed into the street to catch dry patches for sure footing.
As I was carefully maneuvering my steps this morning, I thought about how 2020 was much like partially snow and ice-packed roads. One minute many of us felt confident in trudging ahead, and the next we were skidding on thin ice. The way forward meant calculated, purposeful steps. We had to strategize for our food, TP and hand sanitizer supplies. We had to devise creative ways to keep the kids engaged. Our jobs and work spaces looked different. Eating out—and inside a restaurant—was a rare occasion.
Some of us lost loved ones to COVID or we ourselves may still be fighting this viral brute. The final SARS-CoV-2 battle is not over yet, but the majority of us made it through the year that COVID stormed. We made it through, around, over and under our obstacles. We kept bending and did not break, even though at times we thought we might. Break out the bubbly and the bubblegum! We’re getting traction for the new year!
So What’s Next?
As we close out this stressful and surprising year, I want to leave you with an adaption of an anonymous piece in John Fischer’s book, Love Him in the Morning: Reflections on God’s Faithfulness.
“The sun goes down on another year. This in itself is a certain grace. No matter what you think, it can’t be stopped. The year is done, even if our projects are not. If the year didn’t shut down, we might not either. We might just burn out in a ball of flame like the sun dying in the west never to rise again. But the sun does go down. The stock market closes. The banking year ends. Parking garages empty, freeways swell and then subside in the night.
The inevitability of this is God’s way of saying it’s time to stop, take stock of the year. . . close the books, and be with those you love. The end of the year is a kindness as much worth celebrating as the beginning.
Even the sun goes down in a greater blaze of glory than it usually arises in. The beginning is full of possibility, the end is all about closure. Whatever has or has not been resolved has to be put to rest anyway. Heads go down on pillows. Everything that is there tonight will be there in the morning. Evening is the celebration of the irrevocable—daily closure as darkness falls. . . . God got us through the year.
The Year Burned Up
We may not have been conscious of his presence all the time, but he was there nonetheless. . . . I’m so glad of it. So glad God takes every worn out year and burns it up in a sunset. The little mistakes, the futile triumphs are gathered into one bonfire that bursts into flame against the banks of sky. I think that God sweeps up the frayed-out ends of the year and . . . I think he likes to see it burn and stands beside it ‘til the last gray ashes fall. Then, across the fretful thoroughfares, over the troubled roofs and petty wars, out of the lonely heights of the unknown, a clean wind blows, all tangled up with stars.”
God got us through 2020! We’re getting traction for new year ahead. May we let Him sweep up the frayed-out ends of the year and rest in His care with expectancy for 2021.