“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good.”
Romans 12:2, JB Phillips Translation
I’ve noticed recently that I have become sucked into the “2020 is a terrible year” narrative that prevails on social media. I have allowed myself to feel deeply the frustrations of the last eight months and whine quietly (and not so quietly!) to friends and family about the state of things.
The narrative in our press and social media, and even sometimes pulpits around the globe, allows us to feel like we’re wading through thick mud. The result? 2020 becomes a year to be endured, rather than celebrated.
Yesterday morning my husband, Alex, and I had a conversation about what our prayers for our lives were when we left school. At 18, my objectives were to have great friends, a happy marriage, to see much more of the world, to learn to ride, ski and play tennis, to work for a particular organization in the UK, to live by the sea and to still have a strong faith after college.
Many of us have suffered losses this year: friends and loved ones for whom we were not able to properly mourn or be with for their final hours. There have been job losses, fear and a loss of routine that have left us feeling adrift. For some of us who have found so much of our identity in our work and what we achieve, we’ve had to come to the hard realization that we are more than just what we produce.
And while the skiing, tennis and riding might all need a LOT of work, and there has been considerable anguish at points this year, I have come to realize that God has filled my life with many good and beautiful things. I have had the privilege of seeing God at work in my own life and the lives of many around me, and this morning I became acutely aware that He is not done with any of us yet.
If you have found yourself squeezed into the mold of the world, with its cynicism and angst, I pray today you may take the first step to remolding it with the gratitude and joy of faith.
A Prayer for Today
God, renew our minds today to see our lives with the beauty that You see in it. Give us the strength to resist going along with patterns which do not honor You, and the wisdom to see where You are and have been at work. Amen.
The Rev. Jane P. Ferguson