Chaotic, disastrous 2020 will fade into history Thursday night and not a minute too soon. It has been a long, hard year and I pray it will be the last of its kind for quite some time.Good things have happened in 2020. Young people have married. Young couples have welcomed new children. Grandparents have welcomed new grandchildren. Students have graduated, though many of them only virtually, and extended their educational journeys or joined the workforce if they were lucky. Some people, some entities and some causes have reached new heights but they are largely the exception to the rule.In 2020, we welcomed COVID-19 to the world. Thanks, China!At this writing, the world has recorded 1.8 million deaths, nearly 350,000 of them here in the United States. Countless others have been ill, many of them critically. Many will hate to hear this but America was, indeed, late in taking the virus seriously and reacting appropriately.Moving the government apparatus is like changing the course of an aircraft carrier at sea. It doesn’t happen immediately. However, when the US finally sprang into action it did so with gusto.Then the basic concept of freedom reared its head. Some vowed not to wear masks period and those in charge were smart not to mandate it. Many fought to keep their small businesses open when the government shut them down. You can’t fault those people for attempting to thwart an official effort to drive them permanently out of business. Conflicts erupted.It was already an election year with a bitter presidential race in full swing. Emotions flared. Riots erupted. Antifa houligans were glorified in the national press while police officers were villainized – a sure recipe for disaster. Police stations and other government buildings were attacked. Businesses large and small were burned out. Maskers and non-maskers clashed in public. Tempers flared everywhere.Sadly, schools were closed. Sadder still, churches closed just when prayer was needed most. Sports schedules were halted in mid-season or canceled altogether.I could go on and on but that will suffice.There are signs 2021 will be better. We now have a COVID-19 vaccine and folks around here started getting immunized last week. Perhaps that development will beat back the virus. Perhaps the decline of the virus will lead to a decline in political tensions but that is unlikely. Democrats have spent four years demonizing Trump and I fully expect Republicans will spend four years demonizing Biden although there is nothing to be gained by it. In other words, improvement will come slowly if it comes at all.So, Baby New Year 2021 we welcome you with open arms. But, you’d best put on your big boy diapers and grow up fast. Ours is a troubled nation. Ours is a troubled world.As for you 2020, get out and don’t let the door hit ‘˜ya where the Good Lord split ‘˜ya.