It is very clear that many have been looking forward to this week in 2020 for quite some time as it signals the end of a year like no other. I have zero doubt that the celebration of ringing in the new year will be done with greater gusto than ever before.
There are tons of challenges; families are struggling to spend time together, small businesses are broken and there is so much more uncertainty than anyone can remember. But what if 2021 is more of the same or even worse? I know it is a time to be optimistic and not pessimistic about the future and I happen to believe that we are in charge (or we should be) and we need to grab the wheel and drive this ship.
Most of us have just celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior. Why did Jesus come to Earth as a human being? Why was he willing to endure doubt, betrayal and pain? Because he wanted to show us by example that, with faith, the little things we think are struggles really don’t matter. If we have our values out of line, 2020 was really bad, but if we think about it the year offered some great opportunities of self-reflection.
The fact that the government was able, with the stroke of a pen or the calling of a press conference, to shut down family businesses is just plain wrong, painful and uncalled for. We are told it was in the interest of protecting the public. Back to my analogy of Jesus coming to earth 2000 years ago, it was really more about that in my mind. The person most in charge of taking care of things is you. No matter what others bring upon you, in the end you may persevere if you choose to.
I don’t believe the masses wanted Jesus to be crucified on the cross. In fact, there is good indication that Pontius Pilate was not content with the decision but a few loud folks demanded the Son of God be killed. Some surely would have said, “Satan wins because we killed Jesus,” but truly as the Son of God, did he need to endure that? No. In fact, not only did he endure it but his parting words were, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
In the end, the proof of good winning despite all odds was unveiled to the world in that series of events. It was the death of Jesus himself that allows for us to be human and also sinners and still attain a seat with the Lord in heaven. So if you think about the struggles that Jesus endured and the resilience he showed, it would appear that we have the perfect lesson to be applied in the dawn of a new year.
At the top of the list is don’t stand by in fear and allow the loudest among us to intimidate and prevent the truth from being unveiled. Have faith in your ability to be the one who stands up knowing that others will follow. The guard dog, most of the time, has a bark that does not parallel the bite. Which also leads us to recognize that once in while there is a bite that hurts, but that in itself will inspire others to follow and when the sheer number of people who agree drop that wall of fear, good will follow.
Since the beginning of time and in today’s world, resilience is the key to success in all things. The only real challenge we have is complacency and the lack of desire to stand up and be heard in what has been the ideal government experience called a Representative Republic. At the end of the day the question we need to answer is this: Do we or do we not agree with our forefathers in their belief that in God we trust?
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.LoosTales.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.