Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A strange year

Thinking back over 2009, I've found it to have been a rather odd year. I wouldn't call it a great year, nor was it horrible.

I speak personally, not broadly or globally, by the way. Why I have been blessed not to have been directly negatively affected by the miserable economy, something of a malaise has seemingly set in, especially here in Michigan. Even though things have been mostly good in my personal life, it's been hard to ignore the shared social dysthymia. The negativity seems to rub off to some degree. There's a good in that. I've been able to remain thankful for the blessings I have by the constant reminder that people around me have things much worse.

One celebrity death really bothered me. Mark "The Bird" Fidrych passed away back in April. I can count on one hand the celebrity deaths that have really shook me and affected me deeply. For whatever reason, his was one. It was a low point in the year.

Our family has had numerous personal challenges. But we've enjoyed some triumphs as well. Those, perhaps, are too personal to share in detail. Ultimately I believe those things have drawn me closer to my wife and daughter and certainly to God. At least it would seem that way.

An old friend of mine nearly died several times. Waiting for a friend -- the mother of young children -- to either get better or die is quite hard on the system. One does not even need to be particularly close to be jolted by something like that. Thankfully she appears to be making a full recovery and should be home with her family soon.

I tried as best as I could to unplug from the larger world this year. I don't really read the hard news, I don't watch TV, I don't follow domestic or international politics. I'm paying as little attention as possible to things like Michael Jackson's death and Tiger Woods' personal troubles. You could say that I've buried my head in the sand. I'd say that I've tried to reduce stress and give up fretting about things over which I have no control. That approach has been quite liberating.

2009 has been a year of seeking to know more about God. I think I started the year considering the possibility that either He does not exist or that He doesn't exist in the way or form which I have always understood him to exist. That feeling seemed to pass, helped along by reading about the conversion of a former world-renown atheist who is now a theist. By fall I had not only gotten past these little feelings of doubt, but I went hard the other way. I've been thirsting for knowledge about who God is, not as much in an experiential way but more in an intellectual way.

More to come... (maybe)

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