In the interest of full disclosure, I’m extremely nearsighted. As in I have to have my hands about two inches from my nose in order to see if there’s lint or stuff on my contact lens before I put the first one in.

20/20 vision has always been a challenge and I’m very thankful for optometrists and contacts that allow me to see the world clearly (if a little smaller) in full peripheral vision (unlike the blur around my glasses).

So, when the calendar changed way back in January, there were a bunch of folks picking “Vision” as their word for the year. As if they needed the irony of what to “focus” on. Ha.

But being as this has been 2020…

Wildfires in Australia. Murder hornets. Tornados. Impeachment hearings. Investigations. Then COVID’s worldwide lockdowns and toilet paper hoarding followed here in the US by racial tension, riots, anti-police protests, a nasty political narrative leading up to a still-contested election with too many “irregularities” to be statistically believable, massive wildfires in multiple states (including two months of breathing thick smoke where I live), and now Thanksgiving dinner itself is under attack through more lockdown edicts.

Ugh.

It’s been a blur of chaos and upheaval. Who wants to focus on the negativity? Who can see clearly through the smoke of fear?

And yet…

Somewhere in the middle of the endless months of March/April/May, many of us discovered the truth of what really matters. We found our true priorities in family time, meals together, intentional connections with others through technology, taking care of our neighbors, gathering in our homes to worship, spending more time in prayer. Not to mention those who used the time to get healthy, take more walks, catch up on projects, and learn new skills.

I’m not negating the stress and anxiety of those who lost jobs or worried about the wellbeing of an aged relative with preexisting health conditions. And I’m certainly not forgetting all those individuals who were further isolated from society while others in toxic or abusive relationships were forced into closer proximity without escape. It’s been a rough time for many.

My husband’s job and salary as a teacher was never in question despite needing to do his work from home. For that we are very thankful. However, the changes in routine made things very hard for our special needs daughter and she took it out on all of us. And having everyone home during the day also impacted my work productivity which in turn raised the pressure when it came to my deadlines.

I could focus on the negative (especially since my daughter’s workplace shut down again on Monday and we’ve had a rough few days). But I’m an optimist who looks for the silver lining.

So what have I learned? Is there something I can be thankful for here in 2020?

What 20/20 vision do I need to see today? Where should my focus be? On the Word of God? On His promises? On building relationships? On loving my neighbor as myself? On praying for my enemies and those who censor or cancel what I believe in?

I certainly do NOT want to turn this into a political debate but rather to encourage you to look back over the year and find the nuggets of insight that will serve you well in the days to come.

What are you thankful for here in 2020?

Gaining clarity from 2020… Who would have thought it?
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