Holiday Ahead

Nov 23, 2022

There are plenty of people that will say we have little to be thankful for this year. In making that case, they’ll cite almost every headlines or conservative/liberal talking point to backup their position.

If they’re headed to a hot meal, a healthy family and an intact dwelling, my initial feeling is they’re just looking for something to worry about. My next response, which I struggle (unsuccessfully, at times) to keep to myself, is simple: “hush, child.”

They’re not mistaken about the problems, but they’re not individual problems. They’re societal issues.

Focusing on the big picture is throwing away your quality of life. When I start to feel there’s nothing to be thankful for, I shut up and look around. Doing the same thing might change their perspective.

Personally, 2022 has been a pretty good year - at least to this point. I’m not as healthy as a 30-year-old. But I’m not a 30-year old. I’m older. Time will change your appearance. It can also change your perspective, if you’ll let it.

Things that once drove me nuts don’t bother me so much. They’re only parts of life. Life is meant to be lived, not survived. I vote against bad politicians and don’t do business with people I can’t trust. But I won’t focus on either. They’ve earned my scorn, but they won’t steal my happiness.

Looking through my longer lens, 2022’s not that different every other year before it. There are catastrophes every year. The major difference between a good year and a bad year boils down to whether or not that year impacted you. Catastrophes eventually happen to all of us.

Natural disasters will continue to devastate homes, families and futures. Unnatural disasters, whether car accidents or crime, will continue to claim victims and mangle lives. That’s life.

If you’re hurting this year, there’s not much an elderly editor can say to comfort you. Loss is always hard. It’s especially hard during the holidays.

I don’t have an antidote. But I’ll share a promise that has consoled me in my saddest times: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). It’s a truth voice by a man who had already seen his share of misfortune. But David kept on. And things got better.

This Thanksgiving, I’m hoping you’re not hurting. If you are, I encourage you to keep going.

Our team will be back after Thanksgiving. I will be out a few days longer, so I’m thankful that our editors are more than capable of keeping the promise I made first, but they all work to keep every day: we’ll keep you posted.

Happy Thanksgiving.

— Jim Shepherd