This final week of the year is my annual “review and preview” time. I look at what I have done and then top the hill to look at the year ahead.
 
In the review of the year, one of the vital questions is:
 
What one word or phrase best sums up and describes your experience this year?
 
How would you answer that question?
 
For many, it might be COVID-19 since that was the shaping experience of the year. In mid-March, it spun the world in the opposite direction. We all have experienced it.
 
Many possible words flow from the mouth of that river—quarantine, social distancing, facemasks, vaccines, PPE, and so many others.
 
I rejected them all for my “one word” for 2020. Mine seemed to sum up my personal experience so much better than the cultural fixation of 2020.
 
My word is:
 
Experimentation.
 
Why choose that word? The rest of the world seems to twist the focus knob of their microscope of an unseen enemy. But, I did not select anything connected with the virus.
 
It’s because it is what I carried me through.
 
On March 23rd, I dove into the waters murky to my skill set. I started a morning video program called Morning Coffee. It is a live Facebook post that occurs at 7 am each morning.
 
And it took experimentation. Early on, everything went wrong. I pointed my phone toward the cabinet, so people got a long look at the white wood while listening to my voice. Once it was over, my wife told me what happened. I had to redo it, but it demanded I turn the camera.
 
I did, but held down the buttons on an iPhone. I screen presents you with the option of shutting down or calling the police. I fumbled long enough that the default was to call the police.
 
Once the dispatcher called, I confessed my ineptitude. I did it again. And for the last 200 weekday mornings, I have sat in front of a camera to do the program.
 
In December, I moved to my living room to give a Christmas vibe to the program.
 
It bled over to work. I learned about Zoom and have used it well. I learned to video my Bible class and improved my editing. I had to learn new skills.
 
Each time, I waded into water deeper than my past. I had to experiment. Some things worked, and some collapsed. What didn’t work, I tried something else. In 2020, my life was a series of experiments to see how I could live my life and do my work in ways I could never imagine.
 
We want to be sure, but we can’t. And 2020 proved that. Instead, we take a step and see where it leads. Turn around in dead ends and take a different turn.
 
So, I am living a life of experimentation. And…that is my word for the year.
 
What is yours?