We had different plans for this year, didn’t we? Let me tell you about mine…
The Year of Travel
This was supposed to be my year of travel. It pains me to say that. I turned 40 this year so I planned to go on a trip every single month for the entire year. Some big, some small.
I started the year in Israel, a big bucket-list trip and a must for a theology professor, in my opinion.
It feels like a million years ago. The very next month, I went to San Francisco to see Alcatraz because I have a dark love for old prisons. After that, we drove to Napa Valley.
By March, my traveling was done as was yours too. We were all just done.
And, here we are, in December and not a single thing on my list of things I would accomplish this year got done outside of those two trips. I’ve spent a lot of time being broken hearted over that, broken hearted over all the things we’ve lost and the time we will never get back.
But, then it happened, a little over two weeks ago now, I tested positive for COVID along with two of my kids. And, just like that, my perspective changed. Instead of being disappointed over lost time and missed trips, I was grateful for our very lives, for a MILD case of this virus, for survival. I was grateful we had one another and grateful for healthcare, for access to my own doctor and grateful for all the things we take for granted every single day.
The time will come one day to take trips and I’ll be there on that day. The time will come when we go to all the places again and hug and invade personal space. Those things will all happen again one day. So, don’t worry, the disappointment is temporary.
Gratefulness isn’t meant to be temporary. It’s meant to get deep into your soul and when you get it, you get it and it doesn’t let go. The ability to be grateful even in the darkest of circumstances is a gift, a door to hope even when it hurts.
So today, as you debate masks on the internet, decide if you’re doing a family Christmas dinner, cancel travel plans into next year-decide to be grateful for what you have right now in this moment.
Gratefulness is much better than disappointment anyway.