The Chinese have called 2016 the year of the monkey and that is fitting because this year has thrown some poo around! This has been for many one crazy year. Now I am not going to speak in hyperbole and say that it is the strangest year ever, or the most divisive year ever or even the most dangerous year ever. That would be a slap in the face to all of my history teachers throughout the years. It has been strange though. Not armageddon strange more like a scene from the movie Inception strange. Let’s look at some of the “highlights” that 2016 gave us, what we can learn from it and see what we can do to try to make 2017 a little bit more normal.
Let’s begin with sports.
It began with Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl with Peyton Manning as the quarterback leading to his retirement. They beat Carolina Panthers who had the young stud quarterback, Cam Newton who after the defeat famously pouted during the post game press conference. This was what they call in the literary world as foreshadowing. This would be emblematic of this generations reaction for the entire year. Then there was the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA championship and the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series. These two teams haven’t won a championship since the dawn of the television era! It was a weird year!
2016 had it in for the celebrities!
This year if you were a famous singer, actor or celebrity of any kind you had a target on your back. Here are just some of the celebrities that left us this year. Natalie Cole, Grizzley Adams, Prince, Glenn Fry, Muhammed Ali, Gene Wilder, Arnold Palmer, John Glenn, Alan Thicke. All of these legends gone…and Kanye and the Kardashians are still around. It was a weird year!
Bathrooms had a big year!
Thousands in unemployment, terrorism and war all over the globe and homelessness becoming a bigger problem than ever…however, we the bulk of the government and the press focused our attention on whether or not a transgender person can use any bathroom they want. LGBTQ rights was on full display this year. (by the way in 2015 the acronym was LGB, by Spring it included the T and by Winter it included the Q…as I write this post it now has 13 letters in it!). There was huge debate and social media was all a buzz about rights and morality and bigots and homophobes and tolerance and intolerance for the intolerance…meanwhile…people still had no jobs, men and women were dying at the hands of a radical religion and homelessness continued to abound. It was a weird year!
And of course the election!
After all the debates (there were like 127 of them) we ended up with Trump vs Hillary. Were these are two best candidates? No. Were these the best and the brightest our land had to offer? No. But hey! It is the year of the monkey so why not. It was a slimy political season and as a lover of government, history and our country it saddened me. However, it wasn’t the slimiest. It wasn’t the lowest in the gutter we have ever been as a country. After seeing so much hyperbole on social media I wanted everyone to go back to 10th grade history and learn some stuff (Thanks Dr Causey). It came down to the wire and after all was said and done…Trump is our next president. That’s right…imagine saying that last January! It was a weird year!
What can we learn after such a weird year? Well we can learn that through it all God is still in control. Habakkuk 3:17-19 says
“17Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Though all this crazy stuff happened this year…I will still rejoice in the Lord. Why? Because he is sovereign. Why? Because he is my strength. Why? Because he is God and I am not.
So what about next year?
Next year is the year of the Rooster. So, I guess that is good for the South Carolina Gamecock fans. However, this is what I am planning on doing to make my 2017 a little better.
- Recognize that God is in control. Know that nothing is as bad as the TV and Social media is trying to tell you it is.
- Be a better voice. Defend those who need defending. Speak only that which is helpful. Be a voice not the noise.
- Do something. Help others, smile and finally
- Pray, Read, Serve and Tell – Pray daily, Read the scriptures, Serve others and your church and Tell others about the savior Jesus Christ.
Stick to this and maybe just maybe 2017 will be a little smoother.
What do you think?