Just some thoughts … This year has been most eye-opening, and most challenging for every single person in some or many ways. It has tested humans to depths we couldn’t have expected at the beginning of the year or foreseen at any time.
Every day I consciously and intentionally choose joy, not because I don’t see or feel the devastation, but because I know it well in my core. I’m determined to thrive, even when witnessing businesses we know shutting down forever, listening to hearts breaking over every aspect of current events and our human frailty being overwhelmed by hopelessness.
2020 has shown one of the most convoluted examples of apathetic and perverse ambition in all areas, the opposite of what humans need and desire for soul and spirit satisfaction and motivation. This 2020 vision has made one thing quite clear: heightening and polarizing emotions and isolating people of all ages is unsustainable for the long term. In order to stem this tide, we will all need to take pro-active steps to redeem ourselves.
I know with this COVID mess all of our lives have been thrown sideways, but for me, it’s personal. Around the middle of November, I tested positive. Two days later, Laurie did, as well. We certainly didn’t see THAT coming since we’re both careful how we move around in public and always wear face coverings. This is a very sneaky bug, and you can take the best precautions possible and still get infected. So, for the last two weeks, we were sequestered in the home and under doctor’s care via telemedicine calls. I just completed a regimen of azithromycin and prednisone which have shown to be helpful, so we’re just laying low as we continue to get better. Laurie was able to return to work and I’m improving a bit each day. This was a VERY UNPLEASANT experience, but I was able to avoid going to the hospital; for that, I am VERY GRATEFUL!
Here’s an idea: Good can come from the depravity just like breakthrough from the breakdown, beauty from the ashes, a brighter light emerging from the darkest corners. Investing more intentionally into the relationships we treasure to become more life-giving, personal revival with stronger faith in a more significant and unique relationship with God (not religious or condemning), and leveling up to live above the fray … it’s a daily commitment to every possibility in encouragement and support to one another. Rather than continue to dive into our tribal caves and only interact with so-called “like minded” people, let’s try something different: Let’s try to hold conversations with those with whom we might not always agree, in favor of those things we just might share in common. Start with simple things and STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM THE TOXICITY OF POLITICS! Social media has become such a sewer that going forward, I won’t be posting much other than to stay in touch with family and friends.
When we were kids, my Dad expressed concern that this great nation could be taken down from within. He may have been on to something. The most effective way for that to happen is to break the collective spirit, just as in the process of breaking a horse that has been able to run free. I believe the human spirit is made in the image of our Creator. That makes us authors and creators in our own lives and if we don’t want that to happen, then we have to DO SOMETHING! This is our lifeline, the provision we already have within to be resilient and resourceful, to be strong and courageous.
No one ever knows what tomorrow will bring. A dear friend of mine said it best, “we all have an ‘expiration date.’” It’s just become a lot more evident, having been brought to light differently this year. However, we each have value to live and give through this spirit that can rise above time, space, and circumstances. Believing is seeing. Be a seeker of Truth.
Finally, I want to convey my most sincere gratitude and thanks to so many friends who looked in on us, brought us lots of great food and made sure we were doing OK. It means more than you could possibly know so again, thanks so very much!
Advent is a time to celebrate the arrival of new life. It’s not only a calendar or set of candles, but an epiphany of the heart, mind, and spirit.
Wishing you all the grace, joy, love, and compassion to overflowing in this Christmas season!
Post Script: I would be remiss not to acknowledge the inspiration for this blog: Gina Tirtilli is a friend and former tech colleague at Newport Mesa Church and Gina posted similar reflections from which my story emanates. Thank you, Gina, for the “a-ha” moment!