The year 2020 was supposed mean vision. 20/20 laser focus on what’s important. At least, that’s what a friend recently told me. She scratched her head. “This was supposed to be the year for clarity. Why does it feel more like I should be watching for a plague of locusts on the horizon?”
It’s been rough. COVID-19, riots, murder hornets, food shortages, natural disasters, and economic instability has left the world reeling with anxiety. To be honest, I took most of the upheaval in stride. Kids doing school from home? No problem. I homeschooled for years. It was like slipping on an old glove.
Husband working from home 24/7? Check. Okay, maybe I’m cooking a little more than I used to, but it’s all good.
Restaurants close down. Eh, we eat out too much anyway. No big deal.
Movie theatres shut down too. No movies? That’s too bad. I was really looking forward to seeing the new Wonder Woman flick.
Zoos, museums, stores, and entertainment venues…gone.
Sigh. The kids are getting restless.
Church services suspended. Ouch. Okay, now I’m getting uncomfortable. This is my safe haven each week. Online isn’t quite the same.
All my speaking engagements cancelled. Gulp. The Lord will provide. He always has, but this one’s going to hurt.
Writing events and conferences postponed. Wince.
Next year will be better. All those activities that have been postponed until next year will come roaring back with a vengeance. I’m super bummed out about the two writer conferences that have been rescheduled. I mean, we writers tend to be loners. We need our community. But as long as I have the big conference to look forward to next year, all will be well.
And then I received word this morning…there will be no conference next year.
This was the proverbial straw that broke this camel’s back. What? This whole mess really is getting out of hand, I think as I look out my window for the alien invasion that should be due any moment.
Grouchy in mind and spirit, I stomped out to my front flower bed and began pulling weeds with great relish.
Stupid COVID. I feel like Frank Costanza. I should be screaming, “Serenity now!” every five minutes. Why God? I needed this conference!
God’s still, small voice pricked my heart almost instantly.
Do you need the conference, or do you need Me?
I sat back on my heels, instantly stricken. He was right. I don’t need a writer’s conference, but I do need Him. His presence. His peace.
I think my friend was right. 2020 is a year for clarity. It has helped us see what we value. What we set our hearts on, and just how quickly we crumble when our foundation is shaken. It’s been a season of idol-stripping…taking away all that is superfluous and temporal to show us clearly what matters.
Jesus. Love. Family. People. Compassion. The Eternal.
Rooting out idols is never painless, but it leads to a much more content life when the healing is done.