Diplomatic Notes

Another year to remember

As we close the chapter on 2021, I am reminded that like 2020 it was a most unusual year. The pandemic altered many of our lives forever and caused paradigm shifts like nothing most of us have seen in our lifetime. It caused me to wonder what life must have been like in 1918-1920 when the last global pandemic took the lives of somewhere in the range of 50 to 80 million people, worldwide. We are at a loss to consider the fact that we have already lost a few million people, but compared on a percentage basis 1918 was truly catastrophic.

The year 2021 was one of hope for restoration and recovery. There was great expectation that the vaccines would cause us to close the book on this scourge. Unfortunately, in spite of the vaccines and other interventions we are faced with the end of 2021 being a continuation of the end of 2020. More uncertainty, another wave, another scramble to find a solution.

What do I remember about 2021 and what stands out to me? There were highs and lows for the country, and for me personally. Some of the high points for the country included the much-anticipated tourism rebound, another successful non-violent election, Olympic medals for 400 meters specialist Shaunae Miller and Stephen Gardner, the lifting of restrictions and the semi return to normalcy. The lows were the return to lock downs, spiraling death rate in August and September and the shadow of another wave on the way led by the new variant omicron. It could have been worse so we have to be thankful that we made it through even with the casualties.

For me, personally, I have to begin with the lows. I lost friends and relatives to COVID-19. What was really tough was getting a call from my friend’s family letting me know he had COVID. I called him to speak with him but at the time his children said he couldn’t talk. I told them to make sure he gave me a call as soon as he was in a position to talk. The next day I got a call that he was gone … just like that. It was a helpless feeling, what could I do? Some of the calls I received were brutal – more deaths to COVID.

On the bright side I was able to establish a COVID care response team that saved lives. I remember getting a call from one of my members around 3 a.m., it was a wife and mother wondering what to do as her husband lay in the most challenging situation, unable to move because of COVID. My wife and I were able to give some direction, speak with the appropriate professionals and eventually he got to the hospital just in time unlike some of my other friends. He stayed in hospital but experienced a gradual turnaround and after a few days he was released. At that point I was relieved and ecstatic.

I was also able to use the time in 2021 to complete some important projects and to see some of my dreams come through. My wife went back to college – but this time online to finish a degree she started years ago. So many good things happened in 2021 so all I can do is count the blessings and remember the challenges and loss with sadness but still hopeful for a better year in 2022.

Whether we are ready or not, 2022 is just around the corner. I am ready for 2022. I will live, give it my best shot, go and get what I desire, pursue my purpose, maximize my potential and fulfill my destiny.

What will you do in 2022?

The Bible tells us in the book of Ephesians 3.20, “Now to him who I able to do immeasurably more than we all ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever! Amen.”

You have to allow his power to work in you if you want the immeasurable. Many of us want to do what we want to do and disobey God’s commands and still expect exceeding abundance. Do your best to make 2022 a year that will erase any pain from 2021, the power is in your hands.

• Pastor Dave Burrows is senior pastor at Bahamas Faith Ministries International. Feel free to email comments, whether you agree or disagree, to pastordaveburrows@hotmail.com. I appreciate your input and dialogue. We become better when we discuss, examine and exchange. 

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