Launching into 2022 feels strangeBy Curtis K. Shelburne January 14, 2022 0 COMMENTS
Here we are, two weeks into 2022, and it still feels weird to me.
“It” is ambiguous both in that first sentence and in my head. It certainly refers to 2022, the year itself. How in the name of creeping chronometers did we get to this . . . point, point, point, point, point?
Well, that’s how. A split second and a clock-click, a pendulum-swing and a heartbeat at a time. Time’s faucet drip, drip, drips. Each drip, no big splash. Barely noticed. Until, one day, treading water (you hadn’t noticed that, either), you find yourself in the midst of a new but really not-new-at-all Great Lake that dribbled in while you weren’t keeping an eye on the faucet.
I remember doing a very little math—a very little is the only kind I’ve ever done—sometime probably in the 1970s, and reckoning that I’d likely be alive to see the year 2000, but that I’d be very old. Well, I was right on the first point and wrong, I now reckon, on the second. Nonetheless, 2000 is fading fast in the rear-view mirror
By the way, if you were much farther along than a human larva age-wise when 2000 dawned, do you remember all of the hand-wringing and Doomsday pandering? If so, you might do well to remember that it all came to naught. We were pretty full of ourselves as we embraced the drama, drama that we mostly created and fixated on ourselves. Remembering the hysterics then, I wonder about some of the presently popular pseudo-dramas playing as we move into 2022.
Granted, and with apologies to math majors, 2000 is a bigger number on the calendar than 2022. But the human race is still full of itself. And we still embrace drama. History shows, though, that we’re pretty poor at choosing the particular drama worthy of concern.
At the dawning of more than a few new years, we were worried about world over-population. Now population scientists seem to worry more about the “under-side.”
For a long time, we’ve known that the world’s climate does change, but how? How quickly? How much can we alter it or affect it? Mostly, it seems to me, we’ve babbled a good bit, releasing a lot of mostly self-important gas about “saving the planet” as we’ve formed committees of gnats to hold solemn convocations on the rear end of the elephant to discuss saving the pachyderm . . . who seems not to notice.
Ah, but what about the various dramas put forward by our world’s bullies as Russian, Chinese, North Korean, and Iranian thugs and mis-leaders continue to hate freedom and foment mayhem whenever and wherever possible?
As 2022 dawns, we can’t know now what history’s later verdict will be regarding our world’s choices of worst worries. Cow flatulence? Iran’s messing around with uranium? (It seems likely that 2022 will bring to the forefront the question of whether or not a good, serious “talking to” will be enough to get Iran to behave.) Delusional politicians? Politicized pandemic pandemonium?
But back to Paragraph One.
Yes, it feels weird to be launching into 2022.
But “it” also feels weird—we might as well admit it—to be “in time” at all. I’m reminded particularly of C. S. Lewis’ remarks that, were we created to be creatures “at home” in time’s confines, it’s odd that living in time so often feels unnatural to us. Presumably, he says, fish don’t feel wet in water; it is their natural environment. But we seem to never feel at home in time. And that may be, he suggests, one of the biggest clues that we were created by an eternal Creator for something different. Something beyond our present understanding. Something far better.
Well, we’ll face some timely decisions in 2022. Perhaps we’ll make the best ones if we are truly looking forward to something better, something that transcends time, something that brings genuine hope for both “now” and “forevermore.”
In any case, for you and yours in 2022, I pray for many blessings that will last longer than forever.