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Cliff Notes...






Happy New Year!

Are you glad to put 2020 behind you? It will be interesting to see how people view the last year after some time has passed. One thing is for sure, 2020 was full of surprises and challenges. I don’t think most of us had a clue how this last year would unfold and, at least for me, understanding how things would change never got any clearer. I expected that one day we would wake up and things would be as they used to be. I am still waiting on that by the way.

I wonder, will we remember the good things that happened along with the difficulties? Will we remember just the “good stuff” and forget the painful things? When I look back on my days of driving a truck for a living, I almost always think about the things I really liked about it and forget the things I didn’t. I remember driving across the high plains of Montana as the sun came up and the morning rays lighting up the Bitterroot mountains before you could see anything else. It appeared as if the mountains were floating. It was spectacular. I remember driving through the Four Corners in the desert at night with a full moon so bright I turned off my headlights and drove by moonlight. That was an amazing experience.

As you can read, I tend to remember the good stuff and forget the rest. Last year had a lot of “good stuff” in it. We were forced into the new world of having a real presence online and I couldn’t be prouder of the work our volunteers have done to make that happen. We really do have a good presentation and can now provide a meaningful experience to people. We never would have done that, had the pandemic not happened.

I was amazed and inspired by the generous giving of our church family, even when they were unable to worship as they expected to. We were shown by empty shelves how much of the rest of the world lives their lives and that a was good reminder. 

And we experienced loss. We lost some dear ones and they will be deeply missed. We lost the sense of continuity that we had in our daily lives. Some, for a time at least, lost hope in the future. I saw a lot of that, but fortunately, I think most folk have hope for 2021 – I do. I hope that in 2021 we rise to the challenges this new year will bring, just as we did to the last. That we create new and important opportunities from those challenges. I hope that we don’t place unrealistic expectations on the year, after all the calendar is just an arbitrary set of numbers we attach to the phenomenon of orbital dynamics. There is nothing special about January 1 or significantly different than December 31 except what we do with it.

I hope I get to spend the year with you and if you want 2021 to be different than 2020, I hope you have a plan, because what happens this year will be whatever we make of it. Let’s make it a great year. Happy new year!


Cliff Caton