If you are asked how your 2020 went, your reply would probably go like this: January, February, March ……. BLANK…………., December.
If your 2020 was anything like mine, March – December wasn’t blank. It was full of lessons!
Let’s start with how 2020 was argued to be the start/end of a new decade. I double-checked too to confirm the meaning of “when a decade was meant to start or end”. Considering the events of 2020, it definitely was the start of a new decade for me.
As usual, every January sees the start of newly written dreams and goals; 2020 was no exception despite the COVID-19 pandemic. I personally stopped writing resolutions two years ago but simply improved on my life’s resolutions, year after year.
Dare I mention that some of these resolutions required physical presence/activities (Gym membership, traveling, meeting new people, etc.) which were subdued and remodeled to fit into our lives remotely?
By March 2020, there were conversations about an intending lockdown due to the viral spread of COVID-19, and I personally liked the idea because of my introverted-nature, what was more soothing? My organization immediately made plans to switch to remote work and I wanted nothing more than to spend this time with my family. On the home front, we quickly arranged to converge in March in preparation for the lockdown and enjoy the moment for however long it would last.
What happened next was mind-blowing.
Our personality differences began to set in after a few months spent together in Isolation and this birthed some friction. We hadn’t been together for that long in years and didn’t realize how much things had changed individually, and how farther apart we had grown within the previous years.
This taught me my first lessons of 2020:
1. RELATIONSHIPS ARE A CONSTANT WORK –IN-PROGRESS: It isn’t enough to be content with the excitement of new relationships. You’ve got to explore the possibility of opening-up to new experiences, good and bad. Great relationships require ‘hard work’.
For some people, 2020 deepened their relationship with Christ as the economy took a downward turn. I remember asking myself if the pandemic was passing a very important message about “slowing down” and moving with God rather than on my own.
It is necessary that your relationship with God doesn’t exist for the mere purpose of existing, but through constant fellowship and dedication to the things of God. You can trust that this will bring a truckload of benefits into your life.
If you didn’t do this last year, make it a priority to SET apart-time for God every day. This doesn’t mean that when you set aside 1 hour for Him, 23 hours go to other things; God can also be involved in your other activities. As a matter of fact, He loves being involved.
- GET UNCOMFORTABLE – This may be a sore subject for introverts like me who like being confined to a place and are pleased with the results that they achieve, be it meagre or abundant. It is great to be part of a team that contributes to the front-end success, but have you considered that you may be created for more? As trying as 2020 was, did it cross your mind that you form a great part of this world and that you have a role to play? A role not determined by you. Ask God to open the eyes of your understanding today and give you the boldness to step out of your comfort zone. Getting uncomfortable is a great recipe for spiritual growth and there are several ways to do it.
- SPREAD LOVE: Love up on people – yes, people. Regardless of your personality differences, God is love and so is His creation – You and me. We have been called to Love God and God’s creation; this means learning to tolerate others and even accommodate their excesses where necessary.
Unfortunately, some of us tear down others with our words when their actions do not please us, this does not mean that you should not point out or correct errors, yes you may, but do it in love. Check out what the bible says in Matthew 12:36 and Zechariah 8:16-17.
- HOLD ON TO GOD’S PROMISES – God has given us promises of peace, well-being and victory. Allow the word of God to give you a deep perspective as you head into 2021. It is easy to confuse this perspective when we choose to focus on our own plans for the year, but that will only have you running round in circles. As mentioned earlier, when things look less rosy, it is important to slow down and focus on the one who is the author and finisher of our faith.
We live in tough times but we need to keep moving forward while holding on to God’s promises (His Word). And always remember that, though sorrows last for a night, joy surely comes in the morning.
It is my prayer that you will trust God in this season and all the seasons of your life. Amen!
Written by Tofola Beckley