Recently, a speaker at my church opened up Ecclesiastes chapter three and proceeded to tell us what this year will hold. He said that 2021 will have its burdens. Solomon tells us in this chapter that while there is a time to get, there will be a time to lose, and while there is a time to laugh, there will be a time to weep. Where blessings exist, there will be burdens.
But there is hopeful news. The speaker’s second point was that 2021 will have its blessings. Blessings and burdens are two sides to the same coin. If we are to enjoy God’s blessings in the new year, we have to be willing to accept the burdens this new season of life brings.
So, though 2021 will have burdens, we can be hopeful. And since 2021 has its blessings, we can be grateful. While these two points encouraged my heart, our speaker’s third point really made me see my spiritual walk in 2021 in a whole new light. 2021 will have its blahs.
Well, that seems…obvious. But the more I thought about it, the more profound it seemed. We tend to remember the more “pertinent” phrases of Ecclesiastes 3:
But stuck in between the bigger aspects of life are lots of little phrases that tell us a lot about the day-in-day-out dredge of ordinary life:
Our speaker insisted that
“It’s the blahs that create the greatest sense of disappointment in our year. Not the burdens.”
When I thought about my past years this way, I understood something about myself. I can trust God with my financial burdens and health concerns. I can pray and leave to Him the unknown future of my country and my family. But getting to the end of a long week and realizing that all I’ve accomplished are tasks that I have to do all over again next week really gets to me.
Think about it. Most of the tasks we do and the time we spend on a daily basis don’t have much eternal value. We wash the dishes, brush our teeth, walk our dogs, maintain our cars, and fold the laundry. We clock in and out of work, change the lightbulbs when they burn out, and order cleaning supplies off of Amazon because we don’t have time to run to the store before we’re out.
2021 will be filled with boring, seemingly inconsequential moments like these. We will spend more time pumping gas, taking showers, and using the bathroom then we will going to church, reading the Word, and ministering to our communities. That’s just the way human life works.
Everything about our lives requires menial maintenance—from our cars to our bodies.
Yet, everything in life, be it tragic, wonderful, or boring, is an opportunity God allows in our lives. Everything is an opportunity.
How are burdens opportunities?
If you are willing to accept the burdens God allows in 2021, you may see them turn into blessings:
So, if burdens are opportunities to be hopeful and blessings are opportunities to be grateful, why does God give us blahs? The blahs in our lives gives us the opportunity to be faithful.
When we’re tired from work, driving, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and cleaning, we can still choose to be faithful to read God’s Word, talk to Him, and share His salvation with our neighbors. That’s the true struggle of the Christian life—not going to church, tithing, or trusting him with our money, health, and happiness—but having the spiritual fortitude and faith to act like His child while we’re carrying out the tedious aspects of life.
These are the opportunities that the Blahs of 2021 will give us. Every moment gives us a choice. 2021 can be better if we choose God over ourselves moment by moment, taking the opportunities He gives us to shine our lights ever brighter in the growing darkness.
How will you, in the moment-to-moment mundane of life, make intentional choices to choose God over self in 2021?
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