Now?   2 comments

How long will this strange situation last? We don’t know, but we do know that it will not last forever. The question that troubles me repeatedly is, “What is going to be different when we do return to normal? Are we going to rapidly return to the old way of doing things and before we know it the challenges of Sheltering in Place will be little more than a memory?

At New Life we begin each year with 21days of prayer and fasting. Many of us stop some of our regular, even habitual, activities to pay more focussed attention to the plans God has for the year to come. The question however is. how many of those changes would God have us make permanent.

Some of us are currently facing the pain of being without work because our employment is not deemed “essential”. That is painful enough by itself, let alone when you are wondering how to pay the bills.  On the other hand, some feel they are working harder and longer than before Shelter in Place. Most of us, however, are working differently. 

All of us (hopefully!), rather than leaving our workplace for a litany of frenetic activity, are returning home to spend time with our families. We have been forcibly reintroduced to “unstructured down time.” Families have discovered one another again and remembered that they quite like each other! Books with layers of dust have been opened and found to be really engaging.

How often have we bemoaned our packed schedule, busyness and unrelenting tiredness wondering if there would ever be any relief? Somehow it seems God has pressed a world wide “pause button” which a short time ago would have been inconceivable. I am not suggesting God designed or created the virus but it seems He has permitted a fundamental challenge to the entire world’s way of life. Could it be that He is offering us the chance to change.

I have been really struggling with this. I can embrace the idea that change needs to happen, but when I try to tie myself down to actual practical details, I find myself floundering in the dark. However this morning in the shower I had a thought that gives me just a pin prick of light at the end of the tunnel. I remembered the advice Dallas Willard gave John Ortberg when he inquired as to the priorities he should have during a sabbatical. Willard famously said “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from you life”.  Isn’t there a sense in which this is what has been forced upon  us, at least partially, in the last couple of weeks?

 It occurred to me that I can reduce the prevalence of “now” in my way of life; I must do that “now,” respond “now”, decide “now” and so on.  How many of these really require to be done ”now”? Can I structure my calendar in such a way that there is more space and so reduce the recurrent sense of urgency and immediacy? I am not really sure how that might work but it may be a start. What about you? Do you have some ideas to share? 

Posted March 27, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

2 responses to “Now?

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  1. I’ve read this twice and it has opened a lot of questions, feelings and emotions within me. 1) The fact that my business is not deemed essential hurts because now, more then ever, I don’t feel essential. Some of my church family knows a bit of my story and feeling essential or a sense of worth wasn’t part of it, so this has pretty much reignited that hurt within me. 2) I think some of us will experience Gods hand in all this in a way that it will change them but I can’t help but feel for most, it will be short lived and life will go on as if nothing ever happened. I pray that this doesn’t happen and that Gods glory be magnified above everything.

    • Thank you so much for this honest and for being so open. Yes I am one of those who has the privilege of knowing something of your story and the joy of seeing all that God has done in your life. Your business may not be “deemed essential “ but you are. You are not your business you are a child of God and you are essential in my life and the lives of many others. Thankyou for who you are not just the things you do!!

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