A wise friend once told me it’s hard to count your blessings when you don’t know what they are.
As I read the many criticisms, laments and good-riddance’s of 2021 on social media, I wonder if, in contrast, it may have been one of the greatest years of our lives…a turning point, not forward, but back to the things that matter most. Through the struggles and disappointments, the curtain was pulled aside and many of life’s deceptions were exposed, and its crooked paths revealed, setting the essential clearly apart from the non-essential.
Beyond the fear, worry, and despair, where did the events of 2021 take us? For many, the answer was toward family, faith, charity and service. Toward kindness, sacrifice and simplicity…values of the past so easily forgotten in an unchallenged pursuit of ease and entitlement.
More than silver linings, these were course corrections. Faith and trust over fear and despair. Conservation over consumption. Others before self. People before things. A return to prayer. The comparisons are many and wonderfully liberating, for they remind us of what we may have compromised, undervalued, set-aside or forgotten, freeing us from the sleep of perpetual prosperity and contentment in which there is little real growth.
Instead of frustration, I invite you to remember 2021 with gratitude, as a merciful wake-up call, a game-changer, a hard but valuable lesson that helped return us to those principles and values that settle and ground our lives in the ways that matter most.
Happy New Year!
Marc K. Ensign