Maybe it’s crossed your mind that it’s a race to either the vaccine or the virus and only time will tell which one will get to us first. Of course, like you, I pray – on my hands and knees – that I get to the vaccine before the virus gets to me. We find ourselves in a New Year, and while it’s also been a long year, I’m looking forward to 2021 because I’m so grateful we all made it to this moment.
Let’s pause and let that sink in for a moment. We made it this far.
With more than 4,000 people dying every day in our country, I find myself asking, “how did we become the lucky ones?” What should be our response, given how freaking fortunate we are (and to be so freaking blessed!) as to have made it this far in this pandemic? These are good questions for the moment, especially when so many others did not make it.
Why, Dear God, we should ask, have we made it this far?
Of course, I ask myself these questions not simply viewed through the lens of a pandemic, but also as viewed through the lens of living what I referred to in my last post, as my “Third Life.” I have shared with others that, while I do not plan to do anything particularly new or different with this Third Life, I do intend to keep loving and serving others as my main focus. It’s my life’s work. It’s my call.
Although my mission is to love and serve others, my new team of cardiac doctors have reminded and encouraged me to love myself a little better moving forward, as well. That’s a point well-made and one I will surely attempt to heed. I’m not entirely sure how to love myself more, but I do know that for my doctors it includes more whole foods, lean protein and fresh veggies, and far fewer bowls of ice cream! F%#k! I do love my ice cream. But, I also love all of you. So for you, and perhaps for me too, I will work toward consuming fewer bowls of my favorite tasty delight from here on out.On New Year’s Eve my sister Barb shared this prayer with us siblings:
A Prayer for New Year’s Eve
Dear Lord, thank you for seeing us through this difficult year. We are grateful for your grace and strength that has sustained us. Though we are eager to put this year behind us, we pray that the lessons we’ve learned will remain with us always. May we never again take for granted our health, any of our freedoms, the ability to work, gather at church, or visit with friends and family. May we never again miss an opportunity to give a hug, share a smile, orsing your praises loudly, openly, and freely. Thank you for your provision and for your protection, and all the ways you have blessed our lives this year. We are grateful. We are thankful for our Savior Jesus, in Whose name we pray. Amen.
I know it’s a New Year’s Eve prayer, but I also think it’s a prayer for all times. A prayer for every day, for every moment.
May we never again take for granted our health, any of our freedoms, the ability to work, gather at church, or visit with friends and family. May we never again miss an opportunity to give a hug, share a smile, or sing your praises loudly, openly, and freely. Thank you for your provision and for your protection, and all the ways you have blessed our lives this year. We are grateful.
Indeed. We are grateful.
So, what will we do with this year ahead? This wide open canvas yet to be painted? This chapter yet to be written? If January 6th is any indication as to how the year will unfold, I recommend seat belts everyone! But, perhaps we can chalk 12/6 up to 2020-creep, and begin this New Year on January 7th! Yet, another date that will live in infamy!
Yes, for sure, we DO have a great country and clearly, we DO still have more work yet to accomplish together. In fact, I pray our elected officials get their collective acts together, but truly, I pray the same for the rest of us too. Every day is a new day to live what the prophet Micah told us to do 800 years before Christ was born:
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Michael 6:8)
So, maybe it’s also crossed your mind that every day we are here is, in fact, a good day – and every year, a good year – to live what the prophet challenged us to live: justice, mercy and humility. May we live it well.
Peace friends, chuck.
The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog