The Year of Goodbyes--a meditation

musings Dec 03, 2020

I don't know anyone who has said to me, "2020 has been my best year yet!".  We are all aware of the hovering menace of Covid 19. Death has taken off his mask, and he walks freely with his companion named Fear.

Probably everyone now knows someone who has been afflicted by the Coronavirus; some have lost loved ones far too soon.  Even those who have not been directly affected by the virus have had their lives upset.  For many, what began as an inconvenience has been replaced by serious hardship.

The term "2020" in the past has been used to refer to clear vision.  This year has certainly changed many people's vision.  We have had to look deep into ourselves, to reevaluate what we consider our priorities.  For some of us, 2020 has been a year of painful reconsideration of our priorities. Through all this self-examination, we have learned to see ourselves and our priorities in new ways.

2020 has also been a year of goodbyes.  We have had to say "goodbye" to our tendency to think that we live in a bubble, that nothing will harm us if we follow our "plan".  We've seen that even when we are doing our best, our jobs can disappear,  our families can be harmed, and our health afflicted. Even those the least affected have had to say goodbye to special times with friends, with the freedom to move from place to place easily.  We've had to say goodbye to a multitude of little luxuries [like going out to eat at our favorite restaurant] and, at times, had to hunt for more basic necessities [like toilet paper]! 

I live in the United States, one of the best and most prosperous nations on the earth yet Americans have had to say goodbye to any sense of superiority. we may be a sophisticated and prosperous nation, but Covid has still touched our family and friends. Like the rest of the world, Americans have been struggled to live wisely but without fear.  

For me, in the midst of re-evaluating priorities and reordering life,  the smallest things that have shaken me the most.  I have not been able to see a beloved mentor who is now having serious health issues [not related to the virus] because of the new health protocols. I've had to face a lack of enthusiasm as far as my new book--at least, sales to this point have been somewhat poor.  And this morning, my little dog could not stand up without help. She is old and almost blind and saying goodbye will be a mixture of sorrow and relief.

In the large perspective of eternity, none of these three things--or the myriad of other minor or more major matters I could write about--mean much.  I struggle because I tend to think I can control my life and avoid the unpleasantness that life brings. I still tend to think of myself as the center of the universe! So this is the biggest goodbye that 2020 has taught me.  I really cannot control anything, except what I chose to think and believe.

Life in this realm will end; I cannot control death. I can only choose the values and beliefs by which I will live my life.  I can choose to give in to fear and react to every morsel of bad news that I hear, or I can chose to yield to and trust in the Lord Who really does control everything--and who chooses NOT to explain all of life to me! 

2020 has been a fearful, hard year for many.  BUT 2020 is not over.  Christmas lies before us; it may not be the bustling Christmas of shopping and feasting. Yet Christmas is coming and the words of the angel still ring loud and clear,

"Do not be afraid.

I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.

 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Good news, people!

Darkness is defeated.  The ultimate darkness of death and despair has been pierced by the light of God's love in the form of Jesus. The hope of a better tomorrow and of a new life when this one has passed shines bright. Even in the midst of upheaval and uncertainty, I have learned that the peace and rest of God exist for those who trust Him even in the midst of Covid. I can lean on HIm. It is this hope and this peace that gives me

  • the courage to get through today,
  • to go to the vet tomorrow [not knowing if I will bring Daisy home],
  • to reach out to friends who are saying goodbye to loved ones,.  
  • and to seek to be a blessing where I can do good.

Do you have this hope?  Would you like to receive it?  All you have to do is ask.  Talk to Jesus, just speak to Him out loud.  Say,

"Jesus, I have lived my life without you.  I have done what I wanted to do.  But I am empty and alone.  I want to have your hope and light to guide me.  I want to change from a life of darkness and emptiness into a life of joy and life. Please forgive me for ignoring you and come into my life.  Be my Savior--save me from my past; and be my Lord--take my present and help me to live it to honor you.  Thank you, Amen."

If you pray this prayer and mean it, will you tell me or someone else?  My email is [email protected].



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