Learning from 2020 - Word&Way

Learning from 2020

Even by measured, more objective standards (think multiple generations, rather than just years), 2020 is turning out to be a year for the record books — a year the world changed.

Christopher Dixon

Christopher Dixon

We’re weary of reading the headlines about the seemingly never-ending pandemic, racial riots, and political shenanigans. Frankly, I’m as tired of writing about it and dealing with those issues — both personally and in leadership — as most of us are in reading and hearing about it.

Put these issues together in the same year and magnify them and you have a year that will likely be more heavily analyzed by historians than the preceding decade, if I was to guess.

We all likely have opinions on everything from statues to masks to how the media reports news during a national election year. We’ve heard the tired tropes and most every single one of us is weary of all that is going on.

In fact, our family has witnessed a few hardships this year (job loss, health issues, and one suicide) of some acquaintances that have arguably been exacerbated by all of the upheaval this year. Some of that can be proven and some is just speculation, but 2020 has been long already.

The truth is that most of us are ready to put the problems of 2020 behind us.

So, here is another option for the lens which we view 2020: It was a year that served as a good reminder.

In other words, our family may look back on 2020 with gratitude, and there are specific reasons why.

(Jan Vasek/Unsplash)

For those of us who are Christians, it has been a year to get creative. I’ve mentioned it in the last few columns, but this pandemic has forced us to think of new and creative ways to reach our brothers and sisters in Christ in our ministries, and the very existence of our churches may very well depend on it. That creativity was long overdue.

For our friends, families, and neighbors, this year may have been the year that we learned to focus on what we have in common — our shared values in Christ, our love for all people, and our disdain for political division — rather than the petty differences (such as skin color) that have so long been divisive.

Join me in praying that 2020 is the year that indeed changed the world … for the better.

Christopher Dixon is chief operating officer of eLectio Publishing (electiopublishing.com) and pastor of West Finley Baptist Church near Fordland, Mo. He is also a Word&Way trustee.