St. Mark’s Corner by Richard Watkins

Now that we are a quarter into 2020, If 2019 taught us anything it is to look out for 2020. In a year that gave us divisiveness and discord, dissonance and disharmony, disagreement and dissension, is it really that hard to believe that things will get any better as we turn the page to a new year? 

The world is at odds with each other and itself at the same time. The constant barrage of in and outfighting between everyone about everything is enough to make the most ardent of optimists find a hole in the sand to bury their heads. 

Between world hunger, poverty, climate change and global warming, the North Korean nuclear threat, Islamic terrorism, the Syrian Civil War, the Qatar diplomatic crisis, the Iran–Saudi Arabia proxy conflict, the Ukrainian crisis, the crisis in Venezuela, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Indo-Pakistani wars and conflicts, the ongoing Korean conflict as well as the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, who has time to worry about anything else? Oh…wait. I didn’t even mention the stuff happening within our own borders. Mass shootings, violent ideological protests, white nationalist terrorism, natural disasters, humanitarian atrocities levied against the poorest of the poor and the weakest of the weak…and the worst which is yet to come, the 2020 Presidential election.

The pitting of Republicans vs. Democrats, democracy vs. tyranny, right vs. left, right vs. wrong, us against them, me against you and everyone for themselves is bound to send this country into a Homeraic spiral of trials and tribulations to which there are no winners, only victims and victimizers. We have become a society of “I’m rubber and you’re glue” to which everything the other side says are lies, even if it is true because we will never agree with you!

It isn’t even a matter of agreeing to disagree. We will never agree. Instead it’s disagreeing to disagree, which in pure literary terms means agreeing to agree. But the heck with that, we won’t even agree to disagree about not agreeing.

We claim to be “…one nation under God” yet we fail to come together as one and refuse to let God anywhere near us. At most, we are a divided nation at a 10-foot pole’s length away from God, and we’re going to look the other way and pretend that we don’t see or hear Him. That way we don’t have to pay attention to what He wants of us.

So, before 2020 gets any more out of hand than it has already started off, I suggest doing three things that, if everyone does (don’t worry, I’m not going to say anything I’m going to do myself) might just reverse the course of our currently trending history. They are: Repent and believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:15), love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27) and trust in the LORD and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

It’s nothing more than just a simple little reset of priorities. Think of it like putting on a new pair of glasses. After a while, your old pair starts to fail you. What you have been seeing clearly is now fuzzy, blurry, hazy out-of-focus, tilted, backwards and upside-down. But by putting on a new pair will bring everything into focus. Things will be clearer, sharper. Lucid, brighter, more luminous to which everything can be seen in 20/20.