My mum had a routine when we growing up. Every December, we had to clean up everywhere. I mean E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. Why? She didn’t want the “dirt” of the old year to enter the New Year with us. So, we will sweep, dust, mop, clear cobwebs, wash, clean, clear, move, rearrange (have I said mop?) everywhere. No dirty clothes must also go to the new year with you. So you had to make sure you did your laundry we ushered in the New Year. Being the firstborn, when things weren’t executed to her satisfaction, the opprobrium was largely mine to bear. I didn’t understand this ritual and the (preternatural) reasons I believed were behind it. I thought it was an unnecessary stress to put so much cleaning into a couple of days late in December all because we are don’t want to carry “old dirt” into the New Year. To my mind, “old year dirt” and “New Year dirt” were all the same – dirt. Wisdom sometimes comes with age. Looking back now, I think I understand her desire. It think it wasn’t really “dirt” she was concerned about.
For a long time I didn’t quite understand all the excitement about the dawning of a New Year. I felt August 5 was not much different from December 31. They were both days in a never-ending continuum called time. Wisdom however comes with learning and age (at least it should). Now I know better. I understand why humanity is enthralled with calendars. I understand why different cultures miles and ages apart have calendars and they all celebrate the dawn of a New Year with joy and gusto. (Some folks enjoy it with too much gusto. Maybe I will tell you a story of someone like that before I finish). There are dozens of New Years acknowledged and known globally. This is not counting the many other cultural festivals or events in various communities that members of those communities deem to be the beginning of a “New Year”. This tells me the desire to commemorate the crossover to a new year is a powerful one that cannot be ignored. Harnessed properly, this desire is a powerful force. It is the power of the possibility to begin again. The power of renewal. It is the power of hope.
2020 Done and Dusted
2020 has been a year of upheavals. For far too many people, it has been a year like no other – and not in a positive sense. This has made some folks to proclaim it as the worst year ever. Historians however say this is not true. While 2020 has some ignoble records (a raging pandemic, warmest year on record, worst wild fires on record etc), its carnage and death toll is nothing compared to say 1349 when the bubonic plague killed over a third of Europe’s population – about 247 million deaths today. A volcanic eruption in 536 blocked out the sun for about a year in most parts of the known world unleashing the trifecta of famine, disease and death. So friend, if you think things are bad, history tells us they could be worse. Much worse! This crossover season gives you an opportunity. It is time to turn the page. This is as good time and opportunity your will ever have to do so. It is time to hope for a better tomorrow.
Time to Clean Up
So I invite you to clean up. Clean up and remove fear – the fear of tomorrow; the fear of failed dreams and missed opportunities. Clean up and banish fear. Don’t let it hold you down in 2021. Dust away the cobwebs of paralysis. Simply waiting for things to turn around may not work. The law of the universe is that things don’t just happen; things are made to happen. Wash away the sludge of depression and regrets. Look into the perfect law of liberty and catch a dream of the plans of the Father for you. Purpose in your heart to work with Him to bring His glorious plan to pass. Purpose to give it whatever it takes. Friend, it is time to clean up. It may not be easy to do so. It is however imperative to do so.
Every now and then, during clean up in those days, we found something we thought had been lost. I pray as your clean up, may you find your lost joy. May you find your lost zest and zeal for live and living. May grace be given to you. Like at every Passover, when Jews clean out all “chametz” (leavened food) that may be lurking in any recess of their homes, as you clean up, may the weaknesses and issues of life that slow you down be washed way.
Is someone asking: “Okay I will clean up. But excuse me; must I wait till December 2021 before I clean up again? Can I clean up every morning?” Now that is a thought to ponder.
I wish you a blessed 2021. See you next year.
Connect with me on Twitter and Instagram @dradebayo. PS: I will share the story of the folks with too much gusto some other time. I’ll write more in 2021 (Deo volente).