What I Learned in 2016

For the past couple years, I’ve written a “what I learned in year 20XX” post, so I figured I should continue the tradition.

From skimming news articles, 2016 was a rough year for many of us, especially because of the results of the election and what that means for the fate of the United States. We learned (if we didn’t already learn it already in previous election years) that social media is poisonous, especially during election season, when anonymous strangers can pick apart your political views and even your own family members can turn on you.

We (hopefully at least some of us) learned what our priorities are, in the wake of all the shootings and acts of terrorism around the world. We realized the faults in our leadership and in ourselves and the need to stay close to those we love and not engage in “phubbing” (snubbing the person you are spending time with face to face in favor of gazing at the comforting glow of your cell phone).

But personally, I learned that I need, above all things, to trust in God. Too often, I believe I am completely in control. Then something happens that makes me realize my frailty and my imperfections. This year I have had the proverbial mirror held up to me too many times to count. I thought that by hiding from the world and isolating myself in my comforting little bubble, I could remain aloof and apart from everything, that my life would be easy. This was a false sense of security; life by its very nature is not going to be easy, and to believe so would be naïve and frankly stupid.

I learned that I have to let myself free-fall, believing that the arms of the Most High will catch me. I learned that I have to stop running and stand still because there is nowhere I can hide. He is all around me and His comforting light shines upon my face.

Where can I go from your spirit?

Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there;

if I make my bed in hell, you are there.

—Psalm 139:7–8

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