During this time of the year, our thoughts seem to turn to the future. We realize we are on the final calendar pages of 2020 and decide it is a good time to give some consideration to the year ahead. Whether you are writing resolutions, making business plans, or setting personal goals for next year, many of us are focusing on what we would like to see happen. Simply stated, we try to analyze where we are, look at what we’ve accomplished in 2020, and make some judgments about the year ahead.
My husband wanted to teach our six-year-old grandson a simple praise chorus on a recent car trip. He sang the song, then asked our grandson to try to sing along. “Can I just lip-sync it?” our grandson asked.
We tried to stifle the giggles of the moment. But as I later pondered this little guy’s ideas, I realized his strategy somewhat resembles my own. I make plans and set them in motion, thinking I know the best course of action for every situation. Then when something unexpected happens, I scramble to fix things. After I’ve become frustrated or bent out of shape or even made things worse than they were, I think about checking in with God.
“The New Normal” is a phrase we hear often in the media these days. These words refer, of course, to the new habits we have undertaken because of the corona virus. Many of us are sheltering in our homes, practicing social distancing, frequently washing hands, sanitizing everything we touch, and attending meetings by Zoom and other electronic means.
Yesterday I had two very different experiences. In the afternoon, cars began arriving at my neighbor’s home. As guests poured into the house, the music roared full blast from the radio. The problem was that it blared from a car parked in their driveway, beneath my windows. The bass volume was so loud that my floors reverberated with every beat.
In many churches, there is an element of worship called “passing the peace.” Those sitting nearby may shake your hand, speak a word of peace, share the peace sign, or (if you’re especially close) offer a kiss. The expression, “passing the peace,” conjures up images in my head of sprinkling a little peace on our friends, like we would shake salt or pepper onto our food. If only it were that easy! People would be lined up in grocery stores, scarfing up boxes of peace from the shelves, just in time for the holidays.