Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's Been a Very ____________ Year

Fill in the blank: This has been a(n) _________________ year.
Possible answers include quick, exhausting, tumultuous, abysmal, and horrendous. It began with a slew of deaths among entertainers (Alan Rickman, we miss thee!) which branched into losses closer to home. We were hit by riots, floods, and a destructive hurricane. To top that off, Southern Appalachia went up in flames. All this as we endured the worst. presidential. election. ever. 
And we still have a month to go.
Just a month, you might say, but as this year has taught us, quite a bit can be packed into a month’s time. Writers will understand when I saw we could very well see a nanowrimo of disasters. I pray not.
I can’t remember the last time I regretted an entire year. Perhaps 2007 when everything in my life went wrong on so many levels. Then my dog died. Only 1974 topped that year, and that’s too gloomy to relate.
I’m not alone in my weariness of 2016. I’ve seen comments from some on Facebook who can’t wait for the year to be over. Funny how we think life will somehow reset itself just because the calendar flips over to January 1st. There’s a sense of freshness as the sun dawns on that sparkling new day. It’s purely physiological, of course, but perhaps a physiological reboot is precisely what we as frail humans need.
But the truth is, life happens and it’s often tough. While the presidential election is over (whew!) we have no guarantees people won’t die during 2017. As much as we hate to admit it, we know some will. Nor do we have any guarantee that rain will fall in the quantities we need, refreshing the land without destroying it. Society is a mess. Natural disasters may very well happen. We’ll have problems in our lives and with other people. At some point, things will go wrong.
What we do have is the promise that, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." After the cold of winter, Spring will come. Trees will bud and wildflowers will blanket the ground. We’ll breathe it in along with the reminder that life goes on. Often, beautifully. Not because humans will get their act together. 2016 has proven beyond a shadow of doubt that people are absolutely incapable of doing that. Our hope is in the Creator of both heaven and this beautiful earth we seem so willing to destroy. In Him there is always hope for a better tomorrow, even if 2017 turns out to be another (whatever you chose for the blank above) year. 

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