I am ready for 2008 to be over. I can’t tell exactly because it has been dreadful, or because I am just weary of the roller coaster ride it has been.
On the plus side, a lot of good things have happened. My son was married to an adorable young woman who has been his sweetheart since high school. This improbable event was unthinkable not too long ago. If anything, I know that I have worries, God has purposes.
Normally I have a skeptical eye for media histrionics on the economy. Our economic engine has climbed the repeated incomprehensible assaults on the economy by the ignorant or cynical but finally the one-two punch of an 18 month campaign to talk down how things are and a festering boil finally bursting has spooked even guys like me. Things are not as bad as the Reagan recession, or the recession of Bush the Elder. Nevertheless, I find myself extra grateful to have a job.
On the down side, we had the sad work of bidding farewell to three members of our family. My mom lost her husband, and Gemey lost her dad and sister. Thanksgiving and Christmas were still happy and joyous but the empty chairs were hard to deal with. Friends have stumbled this last year, and I have fretted while they struggled to find their way. Sickness haunts some, joblessness stalks others or has overtaken them. Worry is no condition in which a Christian ought to dwell. Jesus told us that sparrows do not fall to the ground that God not take note of it.
I did not, nor would I ever vote for a politician like Barack Obama. He is the most leftist member of the Senate, and I anticipate ballooning government spending and further interference in our economy through taxes and regulation. So far, I don’t think he is particularly crooked, but I know that nice guys do dumb things with good intentions. Nothing the president elect has said or accomplished gives me confidence that he has a clue how to run our nation. Nevertheless, the part of me that is a fan of Langston Hughes wishes I could get into a time machine and visit the old poet shortly after he wrote Let America be America again and show him a copy of the New York Times from November 5th. Though I don’t think the genuine social significance of having a black president is worth what I expect to be Jimmy Carter II – Electric Boogaloo, I am certainly able to appreciate what it says about our nation and be glad in that. Hopefully in four years I’ll be willing to show Mr. Hughes a newspaper from 2012 highlighting the great success of our incoming president.
On reflection, I guess 2008 isn’t so bad. I have family, health and enough prosperity to be free from want with extra resources to help others. I have seen the hand of God in my life and in the lives of a wide circle of friends. It could be worse.