This year isn’t been the first time (and it won’t be the last) that we Americans weathered a challenging (to put it mildly) year. Think 1861-65, 1917-19, 1929-33, 1941-45 and 1968 for starters.
Obviously, we can point a finger at the invisible Covid-19 microbe, shadowy Chinese and Russian governments or entrenched systemic injustice.
What made this one really exasperating is that some of those wounds were self-inflicted. Let’s be honest; we spent way too much time and treasure in the battle between “us” and “them.”
Historians will pontificate about the politics, economics and sociology of America in 2020.
While they do their thing, the rest of us might spend some quiet time contemplating our individual spirituality.
Wealth, political power and the rest of our temporal delights trickle from the top down and differentiate the haves from the have-nots.
Spirituality, on the other hand, is there for one and all, from beggar to king.
But more and more people seem hell-bent on weaponizing spirituality and using it as another means to their ends.
Jon Gabriel of Mesa, Ariz., wrote an op-ed on the topic for USA Today recently and concluded, “I will not give my life for a politician. It’s not mine to give, anyway. It belongs to a much Higher Power.”
We need to remember that.
Over the last 2,000 years, we have witnessed some truly remarkable advances as well as some unspeakably horrible atrocities. Laying those poles aside, let’s peel off the fig leaves and face an inconvenient question: Just how far have we come?
We have lots more stuff than our ancestors did, but we are still the same needy people to whom an itinerant preacher offered a new and better way while He challenged the established order and advanced the radical notion that every life matters equally to God.
So how do we reconcile what our brains tell us our eyes see with what our hearts hope for?
First, start by focusing on whose we are, instead of who we think we are or who others tell us we are.
I’m taking two revelations with me from this crazy year while I try to leave the rest behind:
* Nothing we do – or don’t do – is going to change God’s master plan for mankind one iota.
* Continuing to rely solely on ourselves and what we know – or think we know – will remain a fool’s errand and a monument to man’s arrogance and pride.
Secondly, learn these four lines:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
God Bless Us Everyone!