Don’t Go Away Mad, Just Go Away

It’s the last day of 2006, and for me, it wouldn’t leave fast enough.

Sure, there were some high points and good things that took place. I don’t discount or de-value those. I’m highly aware of and thankful for the numerous blessings that have somehow been bestowed upon me. I lead a charmed life.

But there were earthquakes, both personal and professional, that had tremors and aftershocks that affected pretty much every single day of 2006.

My mom died. There were signifcant tremors long before the actual earthquake. The aftershocks continue. Small aftershocks, to be sure, but aftershocks nonetheless.

A friend made a series of poor choices. There were minor tremors, to be sure. The earthquake affected pretty much everyone I care about. The aftershocks vary in degree and recur with unpredictable frequency, but aftershocks nonetheless.

In fact, last night I tried to think of a more difficult year in my four decades of breathing.

1979 was difficult. My dad died and my mom cried a lot.

1987 was difficult. That was the year I graduated college (and moved 660 miles from Tracy–before mobile phones, e-mail and the Internet), came to seminary, and only spent a semester before that little experiment was postponed for years.

1994 was difficult. Tracy and I were overworked (and seriously broke) with Campus Life, with a toddler and a new baby…the events of that year actually led to the return to Dallas Seminary.

In the rearview mirror, those termors, earthquakes and aftershocks all shaped me both personally and professionally…mostly for the better.

And, don’t get me wrong, I realize that 2006’s tremors, earthquakes and aftershocks will be events I look back on and see God’s faithfulness and lovingkidness, both personally and professionally.

But tonight, when I’m counting down the year’s last seconds with friends and family…

…I can assure you that I’ll do so with more gusto than usual.

Good-bye, 2006.

And good riddance.

You won’t be missed much by me.

Of this, I am certain.