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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Spiritual Outlook: Cheers to us

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It’s that time of year again that places us within the merry-go-round of the holidays and the woes of another year that has gone by too fast.

It’s that time of year again where we begin to look back over the last 11 months. This review in particular results in one of two things happening: We either pat ourselves on the back because of what we’ve accomplished, or we frown our brows in frustration at what we haven’t accomplished.

I’d like to take a moment and lean into the latter part of the statement for that very reason. Years ago a good friend would often remind me to be gentle with myself. And I offer those same words of encouragement and empowerment to you.

Yes, there are yet a few weeks remaining in 2021.

Yes, you had plans to buy the house, write the book, start the business, lose the weight, take the trip and the list goes on and on and on, like those infinite CVS receipts (smile).

Along with that “yes” for the plans you had comes the “no” for the plans that were never realized.

And you know what — all is still well. It’s OK and you’re OK.

Though you didn’t buy the house, write the book, start the business and so on, take a look at what you did do. You did get out of the bed most days. You did manage to clock in for work. You did start going to therapy. You did remain committed to your workout plan.

Though 2021 was not as intense as 2020, it wasn’t without its own rough parts. We still experienced loss, change and transition by way of sociopolitical conflicts, new variants of COVID-19, international crises, school shootings, systemic injustice and you know the rest … the list goes on.

But you know what — we made it. We may not have made it as well as we wanted to, but we don’t look like what we’ve been through. We don’t smell like the smoke created by the flames of fire that surrounded us. We may bend but we didn’t break. We may have cried many a day and night, yet we still smiled from time to time.

So cheers to us and here’s to us mustering up the greatest praise of gratitude for the faithfulness, goodness and kindness of God who kept us. Here’s to being gentle and gracious with ourselves and each other. Here’s to keeping in mind that all things, including the things you did and didn’t do, work together for your good because you love God and are called according to God’s purpose.

Rae Karim, formerly chapel director at Christian Theological Seminary, is now pastor at First Christian Church of Honolulu. She can be reached at pastoraefcc@gmail.com.

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