Leaving the Season of Whack-a-Mole!

by Linda Evans Shepherd

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1 ESV

I did a doubletake at a wall-hanging that read, “Make peace with your past.”

But when your past is filled with a pandemic and never-ending bad news, how do you make peace with that?

When you look back at this time in your life, you might feel as if you’ve had a two-year-long migraine.  You know, from a game of never-ending whack-a-mole.

I’ve seen this game played by an eight-year-old boy in a Chuck-E-Cheese pizzeria.  The kid hovered over a flat white board, holding a plastic baseball bat.  When a mechanical fuzzy pink mole peaked out of one of the multitude of holes, WHACK! 

The kid tried to crack the bat over its head as the mole retreated only to pop his head out of yet another hole.  Often the kid missed whacking the mole, but sometimes the kid successfully whacked the fluffy pink fur ball and would be rewarded by a stream of red tickets he could use to claim a prize.

But when I think about the game of whack-a-mole, I think I’ve lived the past two years as the role of the mole. 

“Covid won’t last long.”  WHACK! 

“The news will get better.”  WHACK! 

“Covid is declining, it’s safe to hang out with friends again.  WHACK! 

“I don’t even know anyone who got sick.”  WHACK! 

“None of my friends have died.”   WHACK!

It’s no wonder this season has been difficult or in the words of my husband, “Annoying.” Yes, it has been annoying in so many ways. As for me, the season led to many canceled in-person speaking engagements. My prayer team at church disbanded. I’ve stood at the graveside of a friend to give the eulogy.

So, where’s the joy in that?

I think the way to go forward from an annoying season into a brand-new year really is to “make peace with our past.” There’s only one way to do that and that is we must flip the whack-a-mole game on Its head.  What if, instead of looking at our troubles, we focused on our blessings?

God got me through one bad season! PRAISE GOD!

I exchange political pundits for inspiring books and messages on YouTube.  PRAISE GOD!

I’ve taken my expanded alone time and learned new skills and created new ways to reach people for Jesus!  PRAISE GOD!

When we change our focus on how God is turning our troubles into blessings, we can stop feeling annoyed, and find a new attitude in gratitude like it says in Psalm 136: 1: “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.” Therefore, always maintain an attitude of gratitude.

That’s it!  What if we thank God for our difficult season and ask him to turn our past into a blessing? What if we ask God to turn our future into a miracle?

This is the kind of prayer that God loves to answer. And when we begin to pray it, we get blessed and thank Him. And the more we thank Him, the more blessings we can count on.

As for me, I’m not going into 2022 with an attitude of ‘bruised’, but with an attitude of gratitude. In fact, it’s my new word for the year; “Gratitude!” Care to adopt it yourself?

From all of us at the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Happy New Year!

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Linda Evans Shepherd is a best-selling author and the CEO of Right to the Heart Ministries, which brings you Arise Daily, as well as Leading Hearts Magazine, Arise Esther, and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, whose authors create these devotionals for you.  Linda is delighted you are reading along with us.  www.LindaEvansShepherd.com

Join the conversation: What’s your new word for the year?

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16 thoughts on “Leaving the Season of Whack-a-Mole!

  1. Yes! A great word to begin our year, Linda! Thank you! My word for 2022 is Watchful — as in watch for God to do a new thing! God bless you and your family in this new year.

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  2. In 2020 I felt the WHACK! from COVID and the shutdown…BUT GOD! 🙂 2020 also opened up a lot of doors for me as a person God called to write. I could afford virtual conference where in person were way out of my price range. Also, my mobility in 2020 was not good so in person anything would have been a huge challenge. In 2020 I got my weight loss surgery with only a 1 month wait past qualification date 🙂 2021 more doors opened for me as well in the world of writing with more virtual conferences. I also was able to attend a very small (12) women at a writers retreat in Oct of 2021. Right after that retreat I got my much-needed total knee replacement at the end of Oct. My word of the year for 2021 was RESTORED and boy did God do a lot of restoring in my life. This year 2022 God gave me the word REVIVE! I am excited to see what God is going to do with that.

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    1. Teresa, I’m praising God with you for His work in your life. Your story is perfect for this post by Linda.

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    2. Teresa, thanks for sharing your story with us! The word ‘restored’ is perfect for you – and love your word ‘Revive!’ Exciting!

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  3. Perfect for the New Year! Thank you, Linda. (And PS I loved your book “Praying Through Every Emotion”)

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  4. Love to read about everybody’s experiences and words the Lord has given to uplift and inspire our new season. Mine is “empower.” I am trusting God to empower me to rise, stand, speak, and write His truth in new ways!

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