by Dr. Stan Hudson, Director of Creation Ministries at the North Pacific Union Conference
In 1965 Frank Sinatra recorded a song that won him a Grammy Award. It’s title? “It Was a Very Good Year!” In this melancholy song he reminisces about years past. I’ve been reminiscing about 2020 and all that we’ve experienced.
So, was 2020 a very good year? I think so. Despite riots, forest fires, race issues, politics and a pandemic, let me tell you why 2020 was good for me. Primarily, it was in what the year taught me.
Riots in Portland and Seattle: There are a lot of very angry people, many with very deep hurts. The riots are a negative way of coping with their pain. The Bible predicted there would be a loss of love in the time of the end. We can expect that unhappy people will become remarkably violent, despite our civilized ways. 2020 taught me to not be surprised to see this coming.
Forest fires: Oregon suffered under a terrible season of forest fires, wiping out several communities and causing many to lose their homes and possessions. This was a reminder that this world is not our home, “we’re just passing through.” We should be prepared to possibly lose everything. 2020 taught me that.
Race issues: As a white man “of privilege,” a term which appears to me to be increasingly pertinent, I was able to see that racial inequality still rears its ugly head in our “land of liberty.” Hatred and mistrust still are present in the fallen human heart. 2020 reminded me of the great creation truth that we are “all of one blood” and in Christ there is no division. If the world is to truly unite, it needs Christ. Another lesson of 2020.
Politics: It seems that it’s getting darker and darker every year. Elections reveal the real character of people, despite their pleas for unity. And fear is the main weapon in advertisements. 2020 taught me the blessings that big elections only come every four years. All kidding aside, 2020 taught me the value of being in the kingdom of God’s grace. No earthly leader can provide the healing He alone can.
Pandemic: As if this year wasn’t full enough! 2020 will forever have the pandemic, front and center, of what the year was all about. Imagine…something too tiny to see causing so much suffering in the world. The entire world coming to an economic halt. Governments struggling as to how to combat this unseen terror. Churches locked down. Everyone was affected. How quickly events can shake a world! 2020 taught me how to get along without theaters, sports and travel, too. It also taught me to look past this world to times and places of unspeakable glory. Finally, it taught me that I should help others to prepare.
So, in hindsight, Frank got it right. “2020…was a very good year.”