So. 2016 has been quite a doozy.
I saw a gif on Facebook of Homer Simpson crossing a bridge labeled "2016" and it exploding behind him as he crossed over into the new year. Pretty accurate. We are all done with this year.
There's been a lot of loss--celebrities and musicians.
There's been a lot of change--that horrendous election.
There's been a lot of turmoil--all the police shootings and protests and bombings and strife.
Personally, I got fired, was betrayed by a lot of people and have lost a great many friends.
I agree completely that this is one year for the trash can.
Ok. Let's talk about my rooster:
Seriously. I cannot make this stuff up.
After Thanksgiving I heard a loud COCKADOODLE-DO on my front porch--sure enough, I open the door to see this rooster. All shining in his gleaming white cockiness. True story.
It's been what--three weeks now? Yeah. He's still just hanging around.
When I wake and hear him, I look out the window and he comes running. Yes, he's attacked me a few times but, we've come to an agreement. I'm learning how to relate to him.
I like him. My husband is not amused . . . I don't blame him: He's loud and poops everywhere. I even called animal control. But, he's still here.
I like that he trusts me. I like that he let me carry him like a baby to the garage on a freezing night this week.
If you really look at this year and think and focus--it's not much different than any other year, or time. There has always been hardship and heartache and terrible events--shocking events. Celebrities and musicians die all the time--normal people die all the time, too. Elections come and go. Fighting and killings and bombings and strife and war happen all the time--and they have been happening all along.
The thing is this: OUR PERSPECTIVE. We see it so much faster, through so many channels all the time 24/7 from so many angles. We are pelted with the news and information, under a microscope and it's at the swipe of our fingers. The Internet and the World Wide Web will eventually kill us because our hearts and minds just can't take it all.
Personally, YES--there is tough stuff we are all dealing with:
The economy. Healthcare. Crappy, sucky jobs--or lack there of. People die. Relationships end. People get sick. People are mean. Life is hard.
Yes. All of it. Here in 2016 and in all of 103, 1109, 1567, 1845, 1984, 1992, 2010 and beyond.
The world will keep spinning just as it has . . .
Here is the thing about MY rooster: it depends on your PERSPECTIVE.
I see him as fun and sweet and charming. A fun gift to enjoy and take care of.
My husband only sees him as a nuisance. A nuisance that poops everywhere (and he's not wrong.)
It's a lot like that baby born in a stable. (Remember him? Yeah, that Jesus kid.)
The people were wishing and praying for a king. A king to swoop in and fix everything.
But, they got a baby.
A helpless infant who couldn't do anything for himself. (Who pooped in a diaper.)
That baby? That baby was God. God made flesh.
God made flesh is HOPE.
Hope. My rooster is HOPE y'all. Hope and Joy.
Hope comes in unexpected packages--just like God coming to earth as a baby.
That rooster is a reminder that blessings, love, grace, goodness and humor come wrapped in unexpected packages.
We can only have hope when we look outside the box (or past the poop.) We have to step out of ourselves and consider the possibilities. Hope.
So, back to 2016. . . .
Have we stopped to remember all the babies born? All the people who found love and got married? All the wonderful people who got elected? All the amazing acts of love and service people did? All the people saved? All the blessings, goodness, grace and hope that happened this year?
No. We often focus on the negative. The bad. The ugly.
What is the greatest thing I've learned this year?
It is to have hope and joy despite what's going on. That's the true meaning of Christmas. And I believe that's the true meaning of Jesus. It's not all bad. We just have to be willing to step outside the box and look around. Take a different angle. Consider a different view.
We are still here, right?
It's because God's not done with us yet.
There's a lot more love to go around. A lot more love to be seen, felt and shared. Stick around. Look up. Look down. Look all around. Sit. Stand. Breathe. And, think of my rooster.
Isaiah 9:5-7English Standard Version (ESV)
5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called,
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Watch a music video I love--"Lonley Planet" by The The: https://youtu.be/fnz-pD_bOHo
Y'all. This was a labor of love and this is just me and my opinion. Thank you for reading me. Really. Merry Christmas. Have a Happy New Year. I'm really glad you are here.