Today is the last day of 2016. It is a general perception that 2016 screwed the world over. A string of shocking anti-establishment and abnormal happenings had the planet sitting on edge all year. But there is a school of thought which says that 2016 was a good jolt for a planet that was finding too much comfort in the success of its liberalisation efforts. Now that we are all awake – liberals and all – what happens with this new experience? Time will reveal everything, wouldn’t it?
2016 was a tumultuous year for many. I wasn’t spared the chaos. I can confidently say that I faced the most difficult time of my career in 2016. It also happens that I had the fewest hours of sleep in 2016, than any other year I have been alive. I am very sure of that fact. In the midst of this super stress, I needed to put in even more family time, which was the most critical of all. A few days ago, I was lying in bed counting the costs and effects of 2016, and how my life is looking like as we close the year. I came to one conclusion: I won! But why is it so hard to celebrate? The answer lies in the scars and memories of battle. In war, the victorious side may celebrate in the open, but weep in private when they count their costs. The costs taint the joy. The costs cloud your inner desire to skip about like a kid in the park.
Should I lose all memory of everything that happened from 2nd January 2016 to 30th December 2016, this would easily have been one of the most exciting and progressive years of my adult life. The tough memories that exist from 2nd January 2016 to 30th December 2016, are what I refer to as “the ugly process”. We stand, we fight, we win. But the scars and stripes stay in mind and body for so long, that we fail to fully appreciate the enormity of what we have just overcome. The ugly process, is the necessary process, for ensuring we face the future like the battle-hardened warriors we have become.
As we step into 2017, it is important for each of us to let go the ugly process of surviving and growing in 2016, and embrace the ugly process of winning in 2017. It doesn’t have to get easier. Ease is an enemy of the truly remarkable achievements ahead of us in life. Instead of ease, we can choose to become tougher, harder, fiercer, wiser, faster. Embrace the scars and stripes. God is on our side.