20 Things to Learn from Lingering in 2020

I didn’t see this year coming, did you?

What have you learned from 2020?

  • About life
  • About your relationships
  • About yourself
  • About God

Below are 20 lessons I learned from lingering in 2020.

It started when God gave me my word for 2020: Linger. I had no idea that by nudging me to “do less” he was going to challenge me more.

20 Lessons from 2020

1. If we only live for the moment, we won’t live very long.

2. Love has a speed. It’s slow.

The pandemic forced most of us to slow down a notch in 2020. We were forced to confront our hurry sickness by sitting with ourselves. And with each other.

John Mark Comer says this in The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry:

“Hurry kills relationships. Love takes time; hurry doesn’t have it. It kills joy, gratitude, appreciation; people in a rush don’t have time to enter the goodness of the moment.”

[Read more:  Will You Return to Hurrying?]

3. It’s better to be proactive than reactive.

4. There are more things we can’t understand than things we can.

5. I don’t like being called names. You don’t either.

The divisive political climate was particularly ugly this year. Rumors and slanders swirled around like a tornado.

But slinging mud helped no one. Name calling made things worse. Remembering we’re all God’s children—we’re all in this together—makes things better.

[Read more:  Stop the Name Calling]

6. Staying home more is as good as I thought it could be, but also much harder.

7. When we don’t stand up for each other, we all fall down.

8. In hard things, be sad. It’s okay to cry it out.

I cried in 2020. A lot. About racial injustice. Spiking covid cases and deaths. Frustrating political tensions.

But crying was okay. It was healthy. Tears clean up our emotional buildup. They’re here to help us. Let them work for you.

[Read more:  I Need My Tears]

9. Not everybody who survives a pandemic realizes they just survived a pandemic.

10. We give up too easily and don’t let go quickly enough.

11. To stay close, linger in conversation. Even if it’s only digital.

It’s easier to avoid the people we disagree with. But should we?

Maybe sometimes. But if we want to carry our relationships into 2021, we have to start talking to each other again, not just about each other.

[Read more:  How Can We Stay Close If We Don’t Communicate?]

12. Learn more about yourself. It helps you be less annoying.

I lingered in the Enneagram this year. I wrote a series in February, The Enneagram for Spiritual Growth (see the index here). I learned a lot of things, including this: If we’ll uncover our shadow sides, we’ll know where to shine the light.

[Read more:  Is Your Social Style Annoying? 9 Ways We Manipulate Each Other]

13. Many Americans value individual freedom more than group sacrifices. But others give away everything they have to help a stranger. (And you can’t tell who is which by church attendance.)

14. We’re smarter when we work together.

15. We don’t need to know everything to know enough.

We don’t have to know everything about a virus, about a policy, about an issue before we can do better. Because of what we do know: God is always with us. 

[Read more: How Much Do We Need to Know?]

16. We are more connected to each other than we realize.

17. To take a step back from resentment, take a knee down.

I’m still working on this one. It’s been hard to not resent those who are spreading the virus by their carelessness.

But I don’t want to end the year with bitterness. Life may not be fair. But I want to love anyway.

[Read more:  It’s Not Fair! When You Resent Those Ruining It for the Rest of Us]

18. We can look at the same things but not see things the same.

19. Traditions can change yet still be traditions.

20. Linger in the present, but stay hopeful about the future.

What did you learn from 2020? Share in the comments.

17 thoughts on “20 Things to Learn from Lingering in 2020

  1. Martha Jane Orlando

    I love this one, Lisa: Linger in the present, but stay hopeful about the future. I have chosen “hope” as my word for 2021, or should I say, it has chosen me. I think we need to have that more than ever moving forward.

  2. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Wonderful, Lisa, and you have obviously learned a lot and lingered over these lessons enough to pass them a long. *I* always learn A LOT from your wisdom. Thank you! You’ve inspired me to consider my own gleanings. I often write “highlights” and “lowlights” of my year, applying this personally, but I also like your idea. Thank you for sharing. I hope you have a slow, lingering Christmas, warmed by His light.

  3. Nancy Ruegg

    I’m impressed with the number of lessons you’ve learned and with your ability to express them succinctly, Lisa. My favorite is also #10: “We give up too easily and don’t let go quickly enough.” Much wisdom tucked behind those 11 words!

  4. ~ linda

    Oh, Lisa…so much to learn and my prayer is that I have learned and will continue to learn for the rest of my days. #6, 7, 8 seem to touch me most as they are part of the place I have lived in so much of this year and the past several.

  5. Gayl

    Lisa, these are such good thoughts. Yes, it has been a hard year for most everyone, but when we stop and linger to search for beauty or find things in common with someone we disagree with in some areas. It’s so important to slow down, linger a bit as we read the scriptures and listen to what God wants us to do. Showing love is surely what’s needed in these trying times. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #Let’sHaveCoffee.

  6. Abby Kaye

    This is so true, thank you for sharing! I most like number 17, I feel like even if we do resent somebody, we should still love them no matter what they have done. Have a wonderful day!

  7. Laurie

    What a great concept for a post about your word this year, Lisa. I wish I had thought of it too! Ha!! #2 especially spoke to me. So true – the speed of love is slow.

  8. Jean Wise

    Linger sure was a perfect word for 2020! I am so excited about your word group and deepening my 2021 word with monthly reflections inspired by you. Thank you for offering this. And now this blog challenges me to dig deeper and reflect what the words SACRED SPACE taught me in 2020. I know some but will prayerfully ponder 20 and create a list too, You are inspiration and encouraging my heart!! Merry Christmas, dear friend

  9. April Harris

    Lisa, you have shared so much insight and wisdom in this post! Number 4 really resonated with me and I loved number 20. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post at The Hearth and Soul Link Party. I’m featuring it at the party this week. I hope you are having a holiday season full of blessings.

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