What does 2020 hold? I have no idea.

Due to some sickness in the family this past week, (flu) it has been a remarkably quiet Christmas. It has lent itself to peaceful periods of self-reflection about the past year, and the year to come.

I have come to terms with 2019. It had some stellar moments – like a marriage and the announcements of two new grands coming next summer. But 2020 also had some less-than-stellar moments. Most of which I haven’t shared.

In hindsight, 2019 was a composite of being one of my best years, and also one of my worst.

It is telling that when Spotify sent me my list of most-listened to songs for 2019, the #1 spot was held by the song “We’re gonna be alright,” by Switchfoot.

It's okay to fear
It's okay when you feel small
You're okay right here
It's okay when you feel nothing at all
It's okay to find out
What you though you had ain't what you got
It's okay to doubt
To learn what you think ain't what you thought
We are always in motion
Like the winds, the tides, the ocean
Everyday I'm born again
I wake up I feel that second wind
We're gonna be alright
I've seen the look in your eye
We're gonna be alright
Just take a look at the sky
We're gonna be alright
It's okay to grieve
It's okay to learn to fall
It's okay to believe
To admit that you're human after all
It's okay to heal
All of those scars buried deep inside
It's okay to feel
To say all the things you've been trying to hide
Lift it up to the ceiling
'Cause we all need that healing
Let's get lost in the feeling, the feeling
The feeling
We're gonna be alright

When people talk about resolutions and goal setting for the coming year, we are always counseled to be “proactive,” and create our own future.

While that sounds great, in theory, the reality is that a lot of the stuff that causes us the most struggle is foisted on us involuntarily. Occasionally our struggles are self-inflicted, but much of the time our struggles come out of nowhere, causing us to be “reactive.”

I know that I don’t plan for disasters when I am contemplating New Year’s resolutions. My plans and goals revolve around being proactive, not reactive.

Why? Because we don’t know what we don’t know. Life is full of surprises, and it really does no good to fret about what could happen. Being paralyzed by fear of the unknown is not healthy or productive.

God addressed this in Section 123:17“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”

Going into 2020, what I can do is to “cheerfully do all things that lie in my power.” The rest I need to leave in God’s hands.

What I can’t do is control things that are outside of my control – which is where most (not all) of the “bad” things seem to come from.

Even with a rough 2019, I am cheerfully optimistic about the coming year. I have plans and hopes that I want to pursue. (But I will keep that snarky quip in the back of my mind: “Man plans, God laughs.”)

I wish you a wonderful 2020, full of joyful things, along with the faith, hope and power to handle the unpredictable that will surely come.

Happy New Year!


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  1. I absolutely love that scripture you shared. It’s been a favorite of mine ever since you did a post breaking it down. Incredible way to gain perspective. Happy New Year!

  2. I’ve had many years like you describe and agree that most problems come from out of left field. I’ve always hated those motivational seminars that ask the question, “Where do you want to be in five years?” Holy cow, I CAN’T even know where I will be in five days in this very real life.

    Thanks for giving us hope through one of your tough years.

  3. Russian proverb: the bad news is, life is hard; the good news is, life is short.

    Tevye, paraphrased: I know we are the chosen people. Just once, couldn’t You choose someone else?

    (If what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger) … I should be able to bench press a Buick by now.

    And my current favorite: On particularly rough days, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.

    Yeah, it’s been that kind of a year for me as well. Thank you for being part of my survival kit. Happy new year!

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