Back when social media was more fun and frolic than politics and pandemic, there were a few words written by a younger me (subtract 10 from what you think I am now) on straight-up Facebook, not buried in a blog. I’ll put them here just for fun but you’re excused to skip over and go right to the current observations of the new year if you’d like.
New Year’s Eve 2010
Do you know Donkey Kong? The Wii video game? I am no expert but it sure has been in the background a lot lately (thanks, Uncle Karl, the world’s best gift giver to the kids) and I’ve gained a comfortable familiarity with the sounds of Donkey and Diddy barreling along an underground mine track in banana carts, jumping over flying pick axes, avoiding broken trestles and just generally trying to survive the journey in order to get to the next level, which of course, is equally fraught with exploding obstacles.
Donkey and Diddy are pretty cheerful about the whole thing. They get smashed, crashed, blown up, and fall into bottomless pits all along multiple turns on the twisting mine trestle. And when they’ve been imploded/exploded enough times they happily careen to their deaths with a grin on their faces and a bounce in their steps. All so they can do it again. And again. Repeatedly. Over and over. Ad nauseum.
Oh, except if you win the game, which no one in our house has ever done. Yet.
(NOTE: Besides these two fine monkey fellows there is an old ape named Cranky who sits in his chair and talks about the good old days and how things would be different if he were in charge. Lord, deliver me from ever occupying Cranky’s chair.)
Lest we get just too incredibly silly about this whole idea, please tell me you get where I’m going and I’ll stop.
The Mitchell 2010 is nearly over. Where we have been fearful, the Lord has given courage. Where there has been ill health, the Lord has provided healing. Where the pits of discouragement threatened to envelop, the Light of the World entered and broke open a way to sunlight. We have said a hard goodbye and He has reminded us it is temporary. Without question it has been a year of challenges.
If, like Donkey and Diddy we attempt to bounce through the pitfalls and derailments with grins on our faces and idle chatter on our tongues about the rosiness of life, we will ultimately be found insincere by those who watch and listen. We will be without foundation. Our safety net will disappear and we will tumble into the abyss, trip over land mines, forced to repeat the same mistakes and suffer the same consequences over and over again, never winning. Our words will be empty. We will disappoint.
Deliver me from that too.
We stare into the face of 2011 with weary eyes but exuberant hearts, ready for challenge, ready for the new things the Lord will bring our way (thank you, old friend, the Book of Isaiah). Our family prayer for the year is that we will genuinely gird up our cheerful attitudes with the sincerity and courage only Jesus can provide.
You and your families are important to us. Really. That’s the truth. May our lips speak encouragement to your hearts as we grab our Wii nunchucks and barrel into the New Year.
If you watch this video below, realize the kid who’s playing it actually knows what he’s doing.
New Year’s Eve 2020
And so, dear ones, we find ourselves at the end of the Year That Would Never End — 2020.
I don’t have a lot of words for you because you’ve been drowning in words of “do this not that” all year long.
As the sun rises on 2021, please realize that I am thinking of you and praying for you often. No, really. I am. Specifically for you. It’s almost weird how many of your names cross my thoughts.
My mind goes a million miles an hour some days, especially, it seems, when I’m putting on eye liner or blow drying my hair. (Yeah, I don’t get it either but my face and hair never look quite perfect.) The key to that problem lies in keeping rein on the mouth that is attached to the mind — see James chapter 3; it’s my theme song. So many thoughts. So many burdens for loved ones. So much to say. Or not.
My prayers for you are often simple, not always lengthy, but there are times of special burden when I do not know what you are going through and how I am to pray that I lean in hard to Romans 8:26 and this help comes:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Not all scripture is easy for me to remember or to even reference out of my head so you might like to know that this one’s reference is the birth date of my beautiful eldest grand daughter — 8/26. And I use it often on her behalf as I do all the grands.
So though I may not tell you or use all the words that travel through my busy brain, please remember that somewhere out there in front of a blow dryer or make-up mirror, some woman is praying for you, often by name. She also prays under more standard circumstances seated in a chair in her office surrounded by quietness and a Bible translation or two.
Now, as I leave you with best wishes and prayers for a peaceful, healthful, Christ-ful 2021, here’s a rowdy, fun song and a bunch of folks doing who knows what. Maybe it’s not your favorite silly video, but the song lyrics are outstanding, it’s very fun to sing, and it speaks to the heart of the simple Christian life amidst unbelievable complications.
He is indeed our Rescuer.
People ask me about New Year’s resolutions. I am categorically against them. Mostly because they begin to haunt me about the 10th of January. However, one thought that persists during these last days of 2020 and one I hope carries through into 2021 is that I want quietness of mind to sweep over my spirit.
This year has not been conducive to quietness of mind. That matters not. The world does not provide it.
Maybe you know the lyrics to the old hymn, “My Wonderful Lord.” One verse goes like this:
I have found a deep peace
That I never had known
And a joy this world could not afford
Since I yielded control of my body and soul
To my wonderful, wonderful Lord.
May the God of peace, the Lord who allows quietness of mind during protests and pandemics, bless you and keep you all through 2021 and beyond, dear ones.