One Last Look
by Marcy Lytle

We all do it.  We get dressed, we comb our hair, we make that cup of coffee, we look at our list of to-do’s and then the last thing we do is go back to the mirror and check.  We look to see that we didn’t miss something, to see if our hair is still in place, if our zippers are up and our make-up is smooth.  And then…we leave the house in confidence that we look okay and the day will go well.

I was thinking about that activity and realized that as 2020 ends and a new year begins, we need to do the same thing!  We need to take one last look at this year and all the craziness that it ushered in, and decide what to do with it…before 2021 begins.  We need to see if we missed any lessons, if our faith is still intact, if anything exposed is now forgiven and covered, and if our faces are set like flint for the future.

2020 brought in a disease, and our country reacted.  People died, families were separated, friends fought over mask-wearing, and sanitizer became the new home commodity, even more important than bread!

2020 was an election year, and either our candidate won or lost.  Emotions ran high among neighbors with signs in their yards for this one or that one, and drivers sneered as they observed the opposing team and possibly said something hateful.

2020 brought to light injustice, racism, and hatred – that is always there when people judge and are judged by skin color or status or wealth – and protests and violence erupted and brought new levels of fear in our neighborhoods.

2020 demonstrated record breaking storms, disasters, and craziness that we would not have believed had someone told us last December that it would be such a year.

So that’s what we see in the mirror when we look at 2020.  All of these broken things that need attention reflect in our vision, and we have to make a decision before we walk away from the 2020 mirror and step into 2021.

Just like we adjust what we see to be out of place on our physical bodies as we gaze one last time before heading out the door, we have to adjust things before we head into the door of this coming year.

The fight against the diseases is not over, and most likely new diseases will arise.  We have to choose to place our lives in the hands of our Creator and ask Him for provision and health, and the ability to lie down and rest.

Our country is now being led by the newly elected President and whether we like it or not, we now need to pray for those leaders.  More praying and less griping, that’s the adjustment that needs to take place. Prayer is powerful, not just an “Oh well, I’ll pray” with a sigh…

Hatred is always living in our streets and we have to overcome it with the kind of love that is patient, kind, keeps record of no wrongs, and the kind that is not boastful but lays down its life for a friend.

I’m pretty sure more storms will arise in the forecast, and in our lives, but we can look to see who it is that’s with us in those storms, the One who rises above them all and invites us to the secret place beneath the shadow of His wings – wow – what a picture!

I’m always taking one last look in the mirror, often to see if my hair is sticking up somewhere!  And many times, something needs to be adjusted.  I know that my life, my heart, and my spirit need adjustments after the rocking of the boat in 2020. 

So let’s all take one last look and say with a big smile (not a pitiful sigh) “Welcome 2021.” After all, it’s a new year, another gift of time to get it right with Him, our neighbors, and those that see things differently than we do. 

The Pause

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