Though it’s been a tough year, and it’s only half over, I’m thankful for what I’ve learned so far during 2020. Here are a few things I’ve been reminded of…
2020 reminded me there are few things as important as the people I love. Every other prop around me could be removed, but with family and friends around, I’ll be just fine.
2020 reminded me that I’m ultimately responsible for my children’s education. I’ve blindly trusted others with that job for far too long, and my children have paid the price. But if I want them to grow up valuing the things I value, I have to instill those values in them myself. And 2020 has given me the opportunity to do just that.
2020 reminded me that the easiest way to destroy a nation is not an attack from without, but a betrayal from within. The quickest way to be conquered is to allow yourself to be divided. Never again will I assume my country doesn’t need to be defended. But thanks to 2020, I’m ready to defend her now.
2020 reminded me some people are too immature for me to engage. Too often, I’ve cast my pearls to swine, thinking they might learn from it. But too many today don’t know how much they really don’t know, yet believe they are the teachers. Better to save my pearls for those wise enough to appreciate them, instead of letting others destroy them.
2020 reminded me fear is a powerful tool. The easiest way to get people to give up their rights is the threat of destruction, and then the promise of safety. We’ve fallen for the same ploy throughout history, and still haven’t learned our lesson. But thanks to 2020, I’m learning mine.
2020 reminded me that life is truly a vapor, infinitely fragile and precious. Everything we think is a given can be taken away in a single day. God’s kingdom is the only unshakable one, all others will eventually fall. So I’m gonna make my biggest investments in the land where I’m headed, because that’s the only place the things I value will be safe.
I believe that, thanks to 2020, I’m a stronger person already. My eyes see things much clearer and my illusions have faded in the harsh light of day. Those illusions were comforting, but in the end I’d rather have the truth, painful though it may be. There’s a confidence in knowing where you really stand and what you can (or can’t) depend on. And this crazy year has burned away the mist and brought the enemies more clearly out into the open. And for that I’m sincerely grateful.
So I guess all I really wanted to say was…thanks 2020! For all your pain and disappointment, you’ve taught me quite a lot. You’re a hard pill to swallow, but it’s medicine I needed!
“…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3-4
Dave Gipson is a husband, father of 4 adopted children and one biological child, former foster parent, and pastor at Naples Family Church of Naples, FL. An author, Dave's new highly acclaimed book, "The Seven Surprises: Everyday Epiphanies on Being a Better Human Being," is now available. He also contributes regular commentaries to the Naples Daily News as well as other international publications. He has served churches for the last 25+ years, from Florida to the inner-city of Chicago. Rev. Gipson holds his ordination in the Southern Baptist denomination, and has two earned Masters degrees in Religion and Divinity. Read more at http://davegipson.net.Follow him on Twitter at @realdavegipson.