Clarity In Unfortunate Events
Before the fact, 2020 was themed “20/20 Vision” or “Perfect Vision” by thousands of churches among the Christian movement across the globe. Regardless the denominational or organizational affiliation, the slogans were highly anticipated and heavily circulated. Billions of believers, I would presume, entered the year 2020 expecting it to be another year of great fulfillment both personally and professionally, secularly and spiritually. It ended up being yet another year simply cruising the roads of a theme, only to eventually arrive at an all too familiar dead end, and succumbing to the unfortunate pattern of past themes: becoming irrelevant and no longer a driving force by first or second quarter’s end.
It is safe to assume, taking into account the global reaction to the pandemic, that no individual had an accurate itinerary for the uncertain, uneventful, and unexciting year 2020 has been the world over:
Millions of COVID-related deaths (and counting as of this writing) have shaken the world to its very core and spawned the shutdowns of countries, the shuttering of educational establishments, the forced closure of houses of worship, the economic impact of a record number of job losses, home and car repossessions, suicide attempts, political upheaval, increased racial tensions, and civil unrest. Regardless of our beliefs or theories about Covid-19 and its origins, it is undeniable the indelible mark this pandemic has left on planet Earth.
Pestilence has swept our land. This year, as it would seem, has been one of perpetual discouragement, defeat, and disappointment—maybe even billed as a non-fiction version of the “series of unfortunate events” (befitting 2020), if you will. Poll any person on what they are most anticipating about the year drawing to a close and their reply is very likely to go something like this, “...ready for IT to be OVER!”
When I look back over 2020, I think of Job who also endured a time of unfortunate events: the death of all of his children in a single day, unprecedented attacks on his health, financial ruin, discouragement and being despised by close friends, and encouraged by his wife to denounce God. It was in this time that Job was reminded of his mortality and his greater dependence on the mercies and grace of Almighty God. It could be stated that, like Job, 2020 has caused us to consider the same. It points out the very little control we truly possess in our pilgrimage through the earth.
Catastrophe and contention have brought us to our knees in prayer while riots and racial tension have us scrambling for solutions and seeking the face of God. To top it all off, the deaths of family, friends, and loved ones near and far, have tested our trust and submission to the will of God. Make no mistake about it, this pandemic is real. We have all experienced its sting in one way or another.
Maybe we need to have a different perspective.