Updated: Jan 8
A lot of us have had our dreams crushed in 2020. As of this date, I am currently waiting for my third Covid-19 test today. The first two tests were because of exposure and this one is because of some symptoms. At first, my 2020 goals and dreams were first put on pause, then completely trashed.
So what do we do with a new year that’s right around the corner? Is it worth planning anything? My answer is, “Of course it is!” I believe we have a loving God who knows and directs all things. This is no surprise to him. I believe that he will help us take our next steps if we will align ourselves in a way that he can speak to us and we can hear. We also have two vaccines that are being distributed as we speak. While we will still have Covid-19 with us, I believe the end of the pandemic is going to be in 2021. This is our opportunity to gain new footing.
The larger question however is, “Now that the trainwreck of 2020 is almost over, how should I think about 2021?” My humble suggestion is to make 2021 a reset year. By “reset” I’m not referring to making some adjustments or being more careful or being more daring and adapting to move along. What I’m suggesting is more in line with resetting a timer or stopwatch. When a race or an event is over, you “reset” the timer for another event. As long as you are using the same setting, even if you have moved to lap settings, it’s still the same race. Use 2021 as a time to start a new race, don’t try to rerun 2020 or try to fix 2020. Just do a reset. This is the way.
1. Make peace with the disappointments and losses of 2020.
There is a difference between starting over and recouping from the losses of the past. The difference is when you start over, you start over. You stop carrying the losses and disappointments of the past. Your focus is forward. Some great words from Scripture by the Apostle Paul give us instruction, “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13, ESV). The apostle could have gotten all caught up in his past failures and regrets, but he knew that would not help him get to where he wanted to go. The same is true for us.
2. Believe that your tomorrows don’t have to be like your yesterdays.
Contrary to some, people really do change and so do the times. A crisis is both danger and opportunity. You were made to grow and all growth involves change. You were made to thrive. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
3. Distinguish between having to reset and choosing to reset.
Many, like me, were forced into a position of having to do something different. I loved my ministry job. Some told me just before “the downsize” they believed I had found my true calling. Well, apparently not. But that’s okay. I may have had my