Happy Freakin’ New Year

I suppose I should’ve written this yesterday, or even last week, but I tend to procrastinate  on an Olympic level so you’re getting my New Year’s post a day late. It works out, though, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about today. Yesterday, I was in Greensboro, spending time with my daughters and took the opportunity to attend Vandalia Presbyterian Church. I went because last week, I read some really good stuff on  The God Article, a blog written by Mark Sandlin, who just happens to be the pastor there. In his sermon, titled “If Scrooge Can Do it, So Can You“, he spoke about the year just past and
the year to come. He mentioned that 2011 wasn’t the year many of us hoped it would be; something that’s certainly true. The last twelve months have seen the death of a couple of dictators and one major terrorist (death is not something to be celebrated no matter who it befalls); civil unrest all over the world; the financial stratification that’s been happening for years worsened to the point it couldn’t be ignored any longer; the economy continued to improve, but remained sluggish and left too many people out of work; thousands of young men and women lost their lives in war zones and nature slapped us around with earthquakes, tsunamis, tornados and droughts. That’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. In 2011 the economy experienced over 21 consecutive months of private sector job growth and 9 consecutive quarters of growth in the GDP; the United States ended its occupation of Iraq; several oppressive regimes were toppled relatively peacefully and regular American people got tired of that financial stratification I mentioned earlier and stood up to say “ENOUGH!” I’m not sure whether the good outweighs the bad and, sadly, that’s been the case for too many years past. I hope 2012 reverses that trend and here are a few things that I believe would help make that happen:

  • In the coming year, I’d love to see an end to the polarization that has infected American politics since the 1990’s and has now spilled over into everyday life. Imagine what we accomplish if we started putting the needs of the country and our brothers and sisters everywhere ahead of our own selfish ends.
  • In 2012, I’d like see discrimination become a thing of the past, whether it’s over race, religion or sexual orientation. The phrase “land of the free” rings hollow when people are persecuted, marginalized and denied basic rights for any reason whatsoever.
  • Let this be the year that Americans finally get that killing people to show killing people is wrong is a ridiculous idea and not worthy of us as children of God.
  • In 2012, it’s my sincere hope that countries all over the world realize that war doesn’t accomplish anything except to reduce the population. Instead of finding new ways to destroy each other, maybe we can work at finding new ways to live together in some kind of peace and harmony.
  • I’d love for 2012 to see the end of the Church of FuckyouI’mkeepingmyshit. It is my fondest hope that this year, Christians will finally start acting like Christians; i.e. emulating Jesus, someone who gave up everything for his fellow man. If He could do that, surely we can let go of some of our “stuff”.

I know most of this list is a pipe dream. But, it’s a pipe dream I plan to keep on having because giving it up means giving up any hope of things ever getting better. And, you gotta have hope