I summarize the year in review on the Navigating by Faith blog about this time every year by doing a top ten rundown of the most read articles. I will do the usual thing, though this has been, undoubtedly, an unusual year.
I appreciate the readers and those who left comments along the way. I hope I have provided some food for thought for those who have joined me on my journey of faith, some inspiration, some encouragement and maybe a challenge to consider things from different angles.
Who would have imagined what was in store for 2020 on January 1? The year began like any other, full of hope, renewed commitments and anticipation for better things ahead.
I renewed my commitment, for the second year, to read through the Bible from beginning to end. This time I would read it chronologically (using a plan in the YouVersion app). Those daily readings became the inspiration for many things I wrote in 2020, but current events commanded the most attention from readers of the Navigating by Faith blog.
Rumblings began to be heard sometime toward the end of January and into February coming from the east. They were things we had heard before: a new virus of uncertain origin. We’ve heard scary rumors of flu, Ebola and other viruses in the past, so I didn’t suspect this one would be different.
Neither did Donald Trump, apparently, to the consternation of a growing cry of the usual voices demanding that he “do something”. Trump shrugged them off. Many people, I believe, did the same because everything in the last four years had become a new reason to criticize Trump. Even people who don’t care for Trump were getting tired of it.
Patriotic cries of freedom mixed with knowing voices of concern and criticism of Trump’s nonchalance intensified as the northwest was hit with the first waves of the corona virus (now known as COVID 19). Governors began to step into the leadership vacuum with mixed reactions.
On March 16, 2020, the world where I live (Illinois) shut down in the midst of increasing confusion, warnings, consternation and angst. This was something new. Something that had not occurred in my lifetime.
Freedom, anger, fear and unbelief clashed as the pandemic hit our shores and spread. For many months, though, it seemed like more of a story from a distant shore…. unless you knew someone. Now at years end, most of us know someone who has had COVID, and many of us know people who have died from it.
In March, though, people struggled to come to grips with a government-ordered “lockdown”. Some people were incredulous. Others panicked. Some horded toilet paper. Others scoffed and protested.
Still reeling from the impact of a global pandemic, the world exploded in May when another black person died at the hands of police. The video of a white officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, ignoring pleas from onlookers to relent, triggered a national reaction of anger and protest.
The impact of those two things, the pandemic and racial unrest, can be seen in the articles and readership in 2020. Posts relating to current events make up four of the top five most-read articles and 60% of the top ten articles.
Readership also soared as the world shutdown. The blog generated more views in March 2020 than any month since 2012 when the blog began. Readership in every month (but one) since then has exceeded the readership in March. Five months set new records, with the most views occurring in November.
My friend who owns a record store says that 2020 will be up 10% over last year despite two and half months of being closed. I think the reason is the same as the reason for increase in readership of this blog: more people are spending more time at home reading and listening to music
The time we have been “given” is not necessarily a bad thing. We have an opportunity to reset priorities and refocus our lives on God, family and the important things in life.
When the world is safe to open back up, we will cherish people and community, live music and corporate worship. We need each other. We are meant for relationship with each other and our Creator. We will appreciate them all the more.
In the meantime, we wait for the New Year to bring long, cold months of isolation and longing. The spring thaw and summer warmth may never be more anticipated or welcome. I will continue to write, seeking God in the midst of our times. In the meantime, I look back over a year like no other in my lifetime.Continue reading “The Top 10 Navigating by Faith Blog Posts in 2020”