If there's one thing I remember about social media in December of 2016, it's that the internet hated 2016. The memes and tweets and grams were fierce. But the optimism was there. 2017 will be better, they said.
Yet here we are just breaking into 2018, and apparently, the internet didn't think 2017 was all that better. With an arguably (slightly) dimmed rage, the internet still thought 2017 was pretty bad.
And I won't lie, some true catastrophes and horrors happened in 2017. There were violence and hate in Charlottesville. There were raging wildfires that sent people fleeing from their homes. The refugee crisis remained a horrifying crisis. Hurricanes brought devastation (did you know much of Puerto Rico still doesn't have power)? There were massacres all over the world — Manchester, Turkey, Las Vegas, Quebec, Sutherland Springs. There was hurt, pain, and suffering.
But there were also glimpses of hope and fun. God was still good. The first total solar eclipse to cross the United States from coast to coast in 99 years happened. Houston won the World Series after they were overwhelmed with flooding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged, and now we get another royal wedding! In the midst of some of the year's biggest tragedies, we saw some of the most spectacular acts of heroism. A 16-year-old asked Wendy's for a year of free chicken nuggets and became the most retweeted tweet of all time. A man got added to a soldier's family's group chat by accident and he ended up sending that soldier 40 pounds of cookies.
It was a pretty great year for me. My book came out. I was on TV. I started the Young Writers Workshop with Brett Harris. I traveled all over the States and some of Canada — Toronto, Indianapolis, Chicago, Florida, South Carolina, Los Angeles. I got to meet internet friends in real life. My grandparents pulled off the most epic surprise visit for my dad's birthday. God was unfailingly gracious to me.
As I look ahead at 2018 and think of the new year's resolutions so many are making, I'm reminded of Jonathan Edward's resolutions. As a young man, he recorded these 70 commitments to pursue a life of full-throttled, single-focused, white-hot passionate obedience to Christ.
And it's his first resolution that I want to reflect on for the new year. May this be my resolution for 2018... and my whole life. And may it be yours.
"Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever."