New Year, New Perspective

looking through eyeglasses on a table at a forest

(Alternate Title:  Opinions are like buttholes…)

Whew!  What a year!  2020 has come and gone, but unfortunately, the chaos, it seems, has followed us into 2021.  Most of us look forward to the new year as a fresh start, a jumping off point, a place to reset and regroup.  But so far, that has been hard to do for many of us!  We tune into the news stations or into social media, and it is the same old buss—fussing, cussing, spitting, and spewing!  What’s a girl to do?!

The past year has been probably the most challenging of our time as a society.  No matter which side of the political aisle you sit on, COVID-19 has spared no family.  In many ways, it has been the great equalizer.  Professionals in the medical field already knew that death was an unavoidable part of life but being the only one to hold the hand of a stranger while they died and while their family mourned from home heaped on a whole new set of emotional, physical, and intellectual strains. We are raw and threadbare and confused.  If masks help, let people be with their loved ones.  If they do not help, take them off our children.  Many have abandoned science for the sake of being humane, while many others feel that we should hunker down and suffer through because science will save us. 

Meanwhile, the political environment has been, well, just plain ugly.  I don’t even need to go on about that.

So, I have been thinking and praying and wondering and pondering.  And I have come to a few conclusions that can be helpful and reassuring for everyone.

  1.  None of what has happened has surprised God.  I cannot even begin to speculate what He has planned in His infinite wisdom, but I know there is a plan. I know there is something we are supposed to gain or grow from in this season.  How have you grown?  What wisdom have you gained this year?
  2. There has never been a more important time, in my lifetime anyway, to be kind to others….ALL others.  Everyone you encounter has felt loss of some kind this year.  Some hide it with a smile, others wear it on their sleeves. Be careful with your words and with your actions, as you never know when someone else’s scales may tip.  Make sure you are a reason for hope and not for harm.
  3. America was founded on the ideal of freedom!  Please think long and hard about this:  just because you have the right to do something, doesn’t make it the right thing to do.  At the end of the day, you will answer to your Maker for your actions alone.  Not for anyone else’s.  The government can’t make you do the right thing, and they can certainly open the doors for the freedom for what you may consider the wrong things.  Make sure your own actions are the ones you mind….Jesus said it best in Matthew 7:3-5:  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
  4. I am just going to go ahead and throw this out there—I consider myself a “prolife” Christian.  If you do also, and you are worried about what the government is going to do about it, stop considering the government’s role.  What are YOU doing to support women in your life or circle of influence who find themselves in a difficult position?  How are you supporting the men and women who are struggling with the choice?  Are you making it easier for them to choose life?  I hope so! Loving others is not judging them; only God can do that. (Check out the website of our local Pregnancy Resource Center and consider getting involved!
  5. This is one of my favorite sayings that I learned from my husband: “Opinions are like buttholes: everybody has one, and yours stinks.”  Yes, it is crude and rude, but it does put things in perspective.  Here I am offering all of you my unsolicited thoughts and opinions, but I hope you’ll find them uplifting and encouraging and helpful.  I am pretty positive no one ever changed their mind or their opinion on a hot topic after a heated social media argument.  They may have changed their minds about who you are and what/who you represent, but everyone forms their beliefs and opinions based on their own personal experiences.  We can’t honestly say that we know exactly what we would do until we have walked not just a mile, but a lifetime, in someone else’s shoes.  “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” -Ephesians 4:29

Y’all, just remember that God is all powerful and all knowing.  We are never alone, and we have nothing to fear.  For generations, the adults have worried over the future for their children and grandchildren, and yet here we all are…..still standing.  We have a choice today:  we can lean into one another and into our faith, shining a light into a dark world that gives others hope and a reason to seek that Light.  Or we can “gnash our teeth and tear our robes”.  In a world gone crazy, in a world that is struggling to survive, let’s get out of God’s way and let His glory shine!  Make sure your eyes and your mind and your heart are tuned to the many everyday blessings.  Make yourself a blessing to someone!  Let our perspectives be ones that show others that with Jesus in your heart, peace and joy are yours no matter the circumstances are!

In His Love,

Dr. Allison Key