Have you ever had friends or family members whom you loved to see coming, but perhaps, by the time they left, you were happier to see them go? As some people say, “No harm, no foul, just being honest.” Some people don’t know when to leave, or as Mama used to say, “They wear out their welcome.” Would you agree with me that 2020 has worn out its welcome? I can’t remember ever being so excited to see a year, any year, come to an end. I don’t appear to be in that boat by myself. This year will be talked about for generations to come.

This time last year we were so excited to welcome in a new year. We celebrated its arrival like that of a new-born baby. We had parades, parties, and celebrations. The numbers 2020 even sounded good. We used a play on words to say, “I can see good things ahead with 20/20 vision.” Some people even wore glasses with frames shaped like the number 2020. If we had only known then, what we know now, we would have seen thing differently. As it has turned out we didn’t have 2020 vision after all, or at least not until later in the year. I began 2020 full speed ahead and with a calendar filled with plans. In the third month, I slammed on brakes and everything came to a screeching halt. As 2020 heads out the door, we wipe our brows, give a sigh of relief, and say “Don’t come back!”

I don’t believe in luck, but for those of you who do, those greens and peas you ate on New Year’s Day, didn’t work! I may eat those things, but only because I like them. As far as any effect on the coming year, I prefer to pray about it. This year we should send up a prayer of thanksgiving that this year is over and that we survived. So far, neither I, nor my immediate family, have had the virus. Multitudes of people around the world have not been so blessed. I’m also praying a thanksgiving that a vaccine has been developed and is on the way. While this terrible plague is not over yet, and we are still not out of the woods, at least we have hope. We can see a light at the end of the tunnel...and as they say, we’re praying it isn’t on a train that’s coming our way! Had we known what was coming our way last year, we might have tried to roll 2019 over and use it again. Of course, we know it doesn’t work that way. We can’t go back and relive the past or undo what has been. We have to keep moving forward in faith and trust that better days are ahead. The truth is that we never know exactly what is headed our way. We have no idea what this coming year will bring us, but we can and should pray for better days.

I don’t claim to understand why some things happen as they do. I don’t know why we have this terrible virus among us, but I do know this: God’s Word tells us that all things work together for good to those who love God. (Romans 8:28) He did not say that all things are good, but that all things work together for good. At this point, I can’t begin to see much good that has come from this virus, but I don’t know everything either. I will not only say, “Have a happy New Year,” but I’ll add to that, “Have a better New Year!”

— Bill King is a native of Rainsville, where he and his wife graduated from Plainview High School. King is a director of missions in Opelika, a writer, musician and author. His column appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition. Visit brobillybob.com for more information.

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