Will it be a Happy New Year in 2021?

It’s New Year’s Day. I’m sure some of us were limping towards the finish line, hoping that at the strike of midnight we could say goodbye to the horrors of 2020, looking forward to a blank page, a new chapter, a clean sheet. The old has gone, the new has arrived and we can breathe a collective sigh of relief that the year that was, is done and dusted.

And we did. And it's true, there is certainly hope for a new year!

“Roll on, 2021!” we’ve all been saying. But then we watched the news and, it turns out that the battle is not over. All our troubles didn't magically disappear at the stroke of midnight and despite the hope of a coronavirus vaccine, we’re still facing new strains of the virus, school closures and bracing ourselves for Lockdown 3.0. Happy New Year!

It’s hard.

We’re tired.

The novelty of living through 'history-in-the-making' has well and truly worn off and quite frankly the new normal isn’t fun. We want the old normal. We want friends, family, hugs, parties, singing, shouting, concerts, conferences, mass gatherings and all the things that made us feel human. Because, it seems, it’s only through connection with others, shared experiences and identities, that we experience humanity. And so we’re faced with the question:

What are we, who are we, if we’re not anchored in togetherness?

As Christians we’re taught to love God and love people. That’s it. The golden rule, a pillar of our faith. And yet we struggle in both aspects. How can we love God fully when we’re isolated from our usual worship experiences? How can we love others fully when we’re restricted in how we relate to one another? When we’re barely even seeing one another?

These things are certainly not impossible by any stretch of the imagination - but they are different. We must now be super intentional. We must step outside of our usual habits, we must cultivate togetherness in new ways, we must take responsibility for our own spiritual walk, get down on our knees in our bedrooms, not our churches, and come before God as an individual - not relying on a Sunday to keep us connected to our Creator. We need to start loving the people that we do manage to see - the key workers, our neighbours, the mums at the school gate (if you make it there!) - and find new ways to stay connected with those people who we’re not seeing anymore but for whom relationships and connection is vital.

We’re nine months into what seems like a never-ending saga and I don’t know about you, but I’m still grappling with this! I’m still trying to work out what this new normal is meant to look like, and as soon as I think I’ve got it sussed and there’s light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out that that normal was merely temporary and there’s a new new normal that I must get my head around!

Is this it?

So here’s the thing: this is it. Sorry. We must stop waiting for the storm to pass. We must learn to live - truly live - in the moment that we have. And that moment might be in a lockdown, or homeschooling your kids or battling the supermarket shop, masked up, with steamed up glasses. It might be learning to be agile with every new announcement or with the phone call that says your child has to isolate - again. These are all moments - no they’re not always fun, yes we might wish for yester-year when these things weren’t issues - but these are our moments. And each moment adds up to a life - either a life well lived with joy, contentment and praise, or a life lived in impatience, regret and disillusionment. I know which life I would rather.

Is it hard? Yes.

Are you allowed an off-day… or even an off-week? Of course. Embrace it, wallow in it, get it out your system.

Rise up

And then rise up. Rise up to be the person that God is calling you to be. Rise up and find a way to connect with people, to love on people in a way that God is calling you to love. Rise up and give Him glory and praise in the midst of the storm, in every moment.

Rise up!

Life is not on pause! Live it!

Happy New Year - whatever the circumstances, may you live it well.

Will it be a Happy New Year in 2021? Will it be a Happy New Year in 2021? Reviewed by Love Emily on January 01, 2021 Rating: 5

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