Unless you own stock in face masks, hand sanitizers, and ZOOM, you probably cannot wait for 2021 to arrive. Such anticipation carries with it the hopes of a vaccine and life returning to normal. Though I suspect the new normal will only be a state of constant change.
The negative consequences of this pandemic have been epic – deaths, jobs cut, wages lost, home quarantines, and transformed working patterns, to name but a few. For parents, life with COVID has seen newfound appreciation for what teachers do. And for many, staying healthy in 2020 meant spending an inordinate amount of time being safe (and isolated) at home.
As with any adversity, we often deal with such life storms through humor. My post of March 26, 2020, Diary of A Quarantined Homeschool Mom, was just such an attempt.
I believe being home has given the Linguists among us the opportunity to take wordsmithing to new heights (or depths.) Our daily lexicon has expanded to include new words and phrases like social distancing, flattening the curve, lockdowns, self-isolation, along with an assortment of neologisms like corona-apocalypse, coronageddon, and covidiot. Pandemics are potential job security for Linguists who, no doubt, will be studying the effect of this epidemic on the language of our culture for years to come. At least somebody finds this environment worthy of study. I just want it to be a memory.
But has any good come out of living through a pandemic, other than having survived it?
Albert Einstein once said, “In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” Paul Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer, co-authors of The Adversity Advantage, are more specific in recognizing the opportunities granted by adversity. “…adversity alone has the unique power to inspire exceptional clarity, purge any vestiges of lethargy, refocus your priorities, hone your character, and unleash your most potent forces.” (1)
Still, given a choice, I will pass on the current adversity opportunity.
Yet, are there silver linings in the 2020 clouds of tribulation? A few positives come to mind as I reflect on this year.
- Our hands have never been cleaner.
- Sales of board games and puzzles have spiked, generating more family together-time.
- Husbands suddenly had time to complete their honey-do lists.
- Wives had time to make more honey-do lists, thus driving some husbands to embrace the concept of Purgatory.
- Traffic and pollution are down.
- The go-go-go lifestyle throttled down to slow-slow-slow. While this hurts our economy, it may have saved some lives and marriages.
- More quality time with kids. I know, some of you are saying too much quality time with kids reduces the quality of it. But you get my drift.
- Parents became more engaged with the schooling of their children as they partnered with teachers to navigate new instructional formats.
- Foregoing trips to hair salons, women finally discovered their true hair color. Ok, ok, maybe that’s not a good thing for some of us.
- Medical personnel were finally recognized as the heroes that they have always been.
Still, 2020 has been a tough year for all of us. But don’t give up hope. Scripture encourages us to: “…glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5, NIV)
Thankfully, our hope doesn’t rest upon politics or man’s limited abilities. We can have confidence that as we persevere through any adversity, there is hope. Honesty compels me to admit there have been times this year when I prayed, “Lord, I have enough character for the moment; you can slow down with the suffering.”
I like the quote by Elizabeth Kubler Ross who said, “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.” (2)
TheBuddyBlog.com wishes all readers a Merry Christmas with the hope that you will indeed find your way out of the depths of 2020. And into a new year when we shall benefit from the lessons learned during this season of disease and discontent. As we prayerfully journey through this Advent season, may we all remember that our greatest hope doesn’t depend on who sits in the White House, but rather He who was born in a stable some 2,000 years ago.
May 2021 be a year of blessing for you. Merry Christmas All!
- Paul Stoltz and Erik Weihenmayer, The Adversity Advantage, (New York, Simon and Schuster, 2008) p.4
- Mark Yaconelli, The Gift of Hard Things, (Downer’s Grove, IL, IVP Books, 2012) p 107.