Vision 20/21: Lessons From The House of Mourning
2020 has been hands down the hardest year in living memory for many in our nation. A national pandemic, deep racial tensions and unrest, political turmoil, and economic uncertainties collectively pounded our nation flat. This was on top of the normal, everyday worries people already have in their lives. Had it been any other year, my personal experience with 2020 would be considered a rousing success. This past year I ran a 5K for the first time, built our first home, moved from retail pharmacy to my dream job of working at a hospital, and welcomed my second-born son into the world. God has truly blessed my family in the midst of a very dark time in the life of our nation. Yet it has not been without its sorrows. My wife’s grandmother has been put into a nursing home this year, and my mother-in-law has been in a hospice facility since September. This makes visiting them all but impossible, and we are greatly worried about their health given the increased cases of Covid among nursing home residents.
All of this weighed in my mind when Pastor Drew H. first asked me to take on the task of managing this blog. As mentioned earlier, I was in the throes of becoming a father for the second time. Managing work and life was a daily struggle, and I thought and prayed long over the decision to add this to my already busy life. In doing so, I considered what would most benefit our church to read about on this platform. There are so many talking heads and foolish voices pouring into our lives from the media, social or otherwise, that only seemed to grow louder this past year. Echo chambers and confirmation bias abound in all areas, political or otherwise. What good is it to add another voice to the cacophony of our age? Then I remembered Ecclesiastes 7: 2-6
“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. It is better to heed a wise man's rebuke than to listen to the song of fools. Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless.”
The sorrow and solitude of 2020 have put many of us in the house of mourning, and that is where wisdom is. If there is anything our church, our community, our nation needs now more than ever, it is wisdom. Our first series of articles then will seek to mine the lessons of wisdom gained from the house of mourning that we know as 2020. Each article is written by a member of our pastoral staff and leadership team addressing their answer to the question “What lessons from this difficult past year will help us go forward into 2021?” Since the main idea is looking with hindsight on the past to propel us into the future, I am calling this series Vision 20/21.
It is our hope here at TDI that you will be richly blessed by the wisdom of our elders and leaders as we post these articles in the coming weeks. May God grant the maiden voyage of this blog favor in reaching people with the good news of Christ and be a balm for the broken souls of Central members and other readers in the months and years ahead. Grace and peace, John Stevick
TDI Blog Editor-In-Chief