If you’re like me, at this time last year you never imagined the 2020 we’ve just experienced….WOW!!! COVID shut down our country and created “fear” in a way I’ve not seen during my lifetime. We’ve lost many, especially the elderly, while millions have gotten sick. Add to that the political division, social unrest, and economic devastation. I could list the litany of things that have impacted us individually and collectively, but you know them well; we’ve lived them.

I’m sure we can agree…GOOD RIDDANCE TO 2020!!! GOODBYE AND DON’T COME BACK!!!

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels 

Now what? What do we do? I would suggest 3 things:

  1. Count your blessings…find the good and be grateful
  2. Take an accounting of the lessons learned
  3. Discern your role, your plan, going forward

Count Your Blessings
I define the Path to Peace as:

  • Surrender
  • Gratitude
  • Humility
  • Love

Although all have proved critical to me on my faith journey, gratitude really stands out, especially in times like this. First is understanding that everything happens for a reason, according to God’s grand plan and for His glory. Related, in understanding God’s love, we need to have a grateful heart. There’s nothing that positively impacts your outlook more than “an attitude of gratitude”.

Specific to 2020, Cyndi, my beautiful wife, reminded me of all the things that we have to be thankful for. Related to our sacrifices, she pointed to those made by so many that have gone before us for this the greatest country in human history. Recognizing what we are so fortunate to have, we talked about what COVID may have looked like just 30 years ago.

Without question, there’s been a high degree of isolation and loneliness, given the fact that we’re not able to interact and socialize like during normal times. Although not the same as physically being together, technology has brought us a long way. With our smart phones, computers, and many apps, there are numerous ways we can be in touch and on screen. Again, not the same as in person, but totally different than in the 1970s, 80s or before.

The above is just one example. What are you grateful for this past year, even with the challenges of 2020?

Lessons Learned
There’s an expression, “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. My inference here is that we need to learn from what transpires in our lives, both what has impacted us and what our role is in it.

I’d suggest taking an inventory, making a list, especially heading into the new year. What lessons did you learn from what occurred? What was your role in what happened? How could those things be avoided? How would you react differently now knowing what you know?

Photo by Darshak Pandya from Pexels

What’s Your Plan?
Mahatma Gandhi is credited as saying, “be the change you want to see in the world”. In my December 16th blog, I put forward the notion that if you take care of the person, the world will take care of itself. Another expression is, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”.

Regardless of whether your desire for change is in the world, or just in you, it all starts by looking in the mirror. What have you done and what do you feel called to do? I’m often reminded that it’s never too late to start being the person God calls you to be, the person you want to be.

Some things to consider as we exit 2020 and move into 2021. I’d suggest taking them to prayer. Share your thoughts and feelings with our Lord and wait on His response. You may be surprised.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com, with questions, comments, concerns, challenges, or prayer requests.

I sincerely hope that you and your family had a very Merry Christmas. Know of my prayers that you have a healthy and happy New Year in 2021!!!

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph