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Over the years, I have heard several preach on the above phrase, which is written hundreds of times throughout the Bible. Usually these sermons were shared in the context of events running their course to the end. We are reminded that tough situations in life come and go, and we should extend patience to that process of inevitability. Thank God, things do both come and pass! I am very sure that 2020 will earn an epitaph that warrants a “goodbye, and please don’t bother returning.”
This difficult year has indeed earned such a sentiment. It will be viewed in history as a global year of massive change similar to 1918 wherein the Spanish flu killed an estimated fifty million people; 1929’s Wall Street Crash; the start of World War II in 1939; and 2001 when the global war on terror was accelerated by the destruction of the World Trade Center. As noteworthy as these dates are, I suspect 2020 may be viewed even more significantly as a new doorway into permanent change. Things are afoot that portend even greater worldwide changes.
Major global events can be hard to judge. The aftermath of some huge incidents may be over in a decade or so, but the biggest events are harbingers of much larger change because they open a process that crosses over centuries. A perfect example of this is the historical date, 480 AD; it is frequently referred to as the year the Roman Empire ended and the starting point of the so-called “Dark Ages,” an era which many historians consider to have lasted until the late 1300s. I would note the 1200s myself, but that is another story. In any case, we have an epic era of 800-900 years, noted by opening and closing dates. As for Rome, it was rapidly deteriorating from the AD 300s on, and the 480 figure I have noted was the finale of large invasion events. Was Rome’s fall inevitable? Probably so, as Edward Gibbons attests to in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It certainly was an unfolding process and not a single, huge event.
I think we can all agree that 2020’s main events thus far would include the COVID-19 pandemic (still very much alive); the crash of a historically strong US economy (our looming deficit ticking in the basement); and America’s deeply evident political division, earmarked by our recent election. We can easily say, “Good luck, President Biden, on bringing us together” since we have yet to agree on the absolute issues that we perceive have divided us, let alone who has actually won the election. Alas, it appears there is no John Wayne on the horizon to ride in and save us.
So, what is it I sense awaiting us from a long-term perspective, rather than the event-side model lasting maybe only decades? Those who have followed me over the thirty-plus years I have been writing these monthly Bottom Line articles have endured my humor, pain, sarcasm, and hopefully some spiritual insight. I have no specific issue I can point to that identifies the hidden but seminal change I smell. We are entering the “Great Reset” I noted would come in my 2012 book, On the Destiny of Nations, and we are approaching “The Great Debate” yet to come as The Reset process matures. Something is indeed coming, and I am wrestling with the Almighty as to what that is. I suppose the wisest way to end this one-of-a-kind Bottom Line is to implore, “Who will pray with me that we can see it before it gets here?” Something indeed has “come to pass,” and it is preparing us for something else. And that is…