January 1, 2020
By Jennifer Davis Rash
The Alabama Baptist
Old things become new again — at least that’s how the traditional saying goes, right?
I’m hoping we might sidestep this thought process in the new year when it comes to repeating mistakes, especially as we now find ourselves officially in our version of the 20s — the 2020s.
My mind still thinks about the Roaring Twenties when I hear the “twenties” mentioned.
A Western society emerging from life beaten down from more than four years of world conflict found itself experiencing economic prosperity, rapid development in the manufacturing world and an explosion on the pop culture scene, especially the rise of the Jazz Age.
Life was moving faster than any had ever experienced — possibly in such mesmerizing style that no one thought it could be tamed. And for the first time, many Americans found daily living was no longer a difficult chore but actually cutting edge, convenient and fun.
In the end, however, a decade of “pedal to the metal” living and constant demands to push the limits drove Western society right into the middle of its worst nightmare — the Great Depression, which became another historical decade on its own merits.
Opportunity to do better
And so here we are at the front end of a pristine new 20s. Whether we refer to our new decade as the “twenties” or the “twenty-twenties,” we have been handed the opportunity to blaze a new, yet healthier, path by learning from the past.
What will history write about the 2020s one day? What statement will we make? How will we be branded?
We truly can shake off the past, let go of whatever is holding us back and make this our decade. Why not make it our goal to see and live with the clarity of 20/20 vision in the decade of the 2020s?
Time to reboot
To have an opportunity at even coming close to that goal, it will require an official reboot of our lives by flushing out all the chaos and clutter. Just like a computer needs to be restarted from time to time to clear its brains, so to speak, we need to do the same.
It might be as simple as seriously reviewing the overload of responsibilities we’ve found ourselves juggling to determine which are vital and which can or should be removed.
It could be working through unresolved conflict with someone or letting go of bitterness we’ve been harboring or maybe even finding a way to forgive a person who hurt us.
It may mean forgiving ourselves and finding a way to let go of the guilt and shame and give it to God. He truly will carry us and the load we bring.
Maybe there’s some sin hiding in the crevices of our hearts that needs to be brought to the light. The peace, freedom and release that comes from fully repenting of our sin is definitely the way to launch a new year with confidence and gusto.
Can you imagine the impact we can make for Christ if each of us, as individuals, would truly renew our lives, let go of the past while learning from it and forge ahead with fresh energy and unrelenting urgency?
Editor’s Note — This opinion piece by Jennifer Davis Rash will appear in the Jan. 2 issue of The Alabama Baptist newspaper on the “My Rashionale” editorial page.