As 2013 draws to a close, I'm feeling totally confused, not about the year now gone, nor about the New Year ahead, but about whether to celebrate or mourn, looking back. To make sense of it all I've been making some lists, and checking them twice. Unfortunately, it hasn't helped much.
Here is my dilemma in a nutshell. Reasons to celebrate are first, followed by reasons to mourn (in italics).
During 2013: I discovered I had breast cancer, was aggressively treated, and am now cancer free. Though I survived cancer, two dearly loved members of my extended family, along with more than 580,000 other Americans, did not.
A new baby boy was born into our family, healthy and whole, making me a very proud and grateful grandmother, for the second time. More than 1,165,000 innocent, healthy babies were aborted in the U.S. alone. And still, my cousins Amy and Jaydee, along with more than 50,000 other qualified couples waited yet another year for a baby to adopt.
My eldest daughter recently got a major, and much-deserved, promotion in her job. However, more than 13 million Americans remain unemployed, 4 million for more than 27 continuous weeks.
Thanks to our dear friends, Paul and Helen Bogus, John now has a part-time job which enabled us to spend Thanksgiving with our family in Alabama and to mail presents to them for Christmas. On the other hand, the U.S. Postal Service is now almost $6 billion in debt, and threatening severe cuts in service, thanks to totally unrealistic union pension demands.
Two new words were added to the Oxford English Dictionary, "selfie" and "twerk". Unfortunately, the meanings of those words were all too graphically demonstrated to the whole world by President Obama and Miley Cyrus (respectively) but not respectfully.
The Heisman trophy was awarded to a Florida quarterback whose on-the-field performance was exemplary and deserving of praise. Off the field, his reputation remains in question due to a rape charge yet unresolved. All of college football has suffered a real black eye over the situation because, once again, it appears to place sports ahead of truth and morality.
There's never a shortage of people who can sing, as witnessed by "American Idol," "The X-Factor," "America's Got Talent" and "Britain's Got Talent." There's never a shortage of people who think they can sing as witnessed by the same four shows.
The U.S. government has managed to keep us all safe and solvent for another whole year. No thanks to the Occupy Movement, Edward Snowden, the NSA, the IRS, Obamacare, and Target stores.
Phil Robertson, patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family which has the most popular and profitable reality television show of the decade, dared to tell the truth about his personal beliefs about the LGBT lifestyle during an interview with GQ magazine. Because he related the Biblical perspective on the issue he was promptly sanctioned from appearance on his own show by A&E network.
Since when is it wrong to answer a question truthfully? Apparently, since the LGBT community defined tolerance as acceptance of their point of view and their's alone. Seriously? Can you really demand tolerance if you're not willing to give it to others?
Finally, it's Christmas once again. Time to sing and celebrate the good news that Jesus Christ came to save us all from this old world and from ourselves. But millions around the world have never heard his name or been offered the chance to experience his love.
So, should we celebrate or mourn? I say we celebrate his birth then roll up our sleeves and get back to work sharing the truth with a hurting world.
Merry Christmas to all!