Despite the difficulties (even the comical ones) of 2020, Christina Antus strives to remember to be thankful for the best gift.
The year of the dumpster fire.
Where Murphy’s Law is as prevalent as the law of physics and common sense is a thing of the past.
Whose motto is, “But wait, there’s more!”
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
I know. It’s like an ugly sweater or a fruitcake.
No one wants it.
It’s the thought that counts though, right?
We’re called to never cease in giving thanks. Every moment is a gift. Yet I cease to give thanks. I cease so much that it seamlessly transforms into giving complaints. If giving complaints is what we were called to do, well friends, I’d already be a saint.
The Saint of Complaint: patron saint of fanning dumpster fires.
In 2018, I wrote a post for Busted Halo about being thankful for our “daily bread” — even if it’s burnt. Of course, I had no idea that in two years there would be eleven months of charred bread. You might as well have set the wheat and barley fields on fire this year because almost all of the bread is burnt to a crisp.
No one likes burnt bread — except my father-in-law.
Yet here we are.
I wish I could say this year has been full of reflection and insight. It hasn’t. It’s mostly been full of frustration and annoyance.
And complaints. So many complaints.
I should be experiencing an abundance of gratitude, but I’m not totally there yet. The most abundant thing I’ve felt this year was fear. Not of social chaos. Not of COVID. Fear of grasshoppers. Every time I walked across my yard, from June through August, hundreds of unusually large grasshoppers, with wings, would fly up to five feet in every direction.
One even hit me on the head.
At least I think they were grasshoppers. I’m not sure what the difference between grasshoppers and locusts are, nor do I care to know. I’m hesitant to use such a biblical reference in a time that feels very much like how I pictured what Revelations might feel like. Honestly, if I woke up tomorrow and saw the Four Horsemen riding around on these grasshoppers (because they’re large enough), I don’t think I’d be surprised. After all, it’s still 2020 for a few more weeks.
It’s been a rough road, friends.
Sometimes it takes a concentrated effort to see that teensy speck of joy. That pinhead of light in a barrel full of darkness that’s only seen with the right perspective after a long period of desperation. That light has been really hard to find this year.
At the very least, we can look back on the past months and see the important things are the very things that stayed when normal fell apart around us. The raw reality of 2020 is that we’ve all been forced to come to terms with the empty parts of ourselves. The activities we used to fill those voids and distract our focus were suddenly removed, and we were left wondering how to address the gaping holes inside of ourselves.
Through all the ups and downs of this year, faith was all that any of us ever really had to properly fill those spaces. When everything else was taken (jobs, finances, livelihood, personal connections, and loved ones), that was ours to keep. There was no fear of it ever being closed, removed, masked, or shut down — although one could argue the world certainly tried.
It’s a staunch reminder that this transitory earthly life simply isn’t capable of keeping its promises. The world was never meant to give us peace. It wasn’t meant to give us joy. Only God can give us those things in true form. That’s the most important thing about this year.
If You’re blessed with the gift of faith, you have so much more to be thankful for than you think.
It’s the best gift.
It has to be.
Because it certainly wasn’t the grasshoppers.
Or maybe it was.
It’s the thought that counts, right?
Copyright 2020 Christina Antus
Image: Pixabay (2019)
About the Author
Christina Antus lives with her husband, cat, and four noisy kids. When she's not wrapped up in her favorite fluffy robe writing, she's running, reading, folding forever-piles of laundry, and probably burning dinner. She can occasionally be found hiding in her closet eating candy. Christina blogs at HousewifeRunning.com. Follow her on Instagram at @housewife.running.