I don’t know about you, but if I hear the phrases “unprecedented time” or “unique and strange circumstances” one more time, I might go a bit crazy. These overused words are obviously the best we can come up with as we wake up every day to news of more politicians arguing, another violent protest, and crisis after crisis.
Church looks nothing like what we were used to. Every pastor I have talked to has had to tear up their job description and recreate a new one, one that might not even fit their gift mix, personality, or desires.
We have finances and staff to worry about. We wonder how to measure if our communities of faith are growing and becoming more like Jesus.
It’s draining, really draining. But more than anything, it’s disorienting on a personal level.
Our personal rhythms are off and we all handle uncertainty in unique ways. We avoid. We numb. We rebel. We take on other people’s burdens. We work overtime. We eat another bag of Cheetos or have another glass of wine.
It feels like we are in a collective season of waiting. And waiting is hard.
Are we just waiting for everything to go back to the way it was? Waiting to feel confident and sure again? Waiting to go back to busyness and hurry?
This crisis is allowing us to learn some new ways of relating with others: with God, our families, and our churches as a whole. The challenge for all of us is to identify the invitation of God right now.
With any invitation, there is always a decision to respond with regular practices that discipline you to stay in places of receiving from Jesus.
We can decide to set new patterns that can prepare us for a different kind of life on the other side of COVID-19.
- For those that are tired and feel the invitation of rest…have you considered meeting with a spiritual director, finding a hobby that brings you joy and life, and attempting the rhythms of a weekly Sabbath?
- For those that are depressed and anxious and are sensing the invitation of trust…have you considered taking time to get professional help to find healing and also engage in the practice of gratefulness for your life?
- For those that have loneliness in their marriage and long for intimacy…what about initiating thoughtful dates to spend time together, writing love letters, and spending time praying for your spouse?
- For those that are apathetic and numb and feel the invitation of emptying and surrender…have you considered confession, repentance, and fasting from social media or news in order to create hunger again?
- For those that live with a “hurry sickness” and recognize that God is inviting you to slow down and reevaluate…what about asking others to give you feedback about your life? Consider regular exercise and eating at appropriate times with your loved ones.
- For those that have become dependent on others approval and desire to have Jesus’ voice be louder than the others…have you considered adding spaces of daily worship and journaling?
When our regular routines are disrupted it gives us a unique opportunity to see God and his work in our lives more clearly.
How is God speaking to you right now and how will you respond?
About the Author
Danielle Pathak is the Spiritual Formation and Staff Pastor for the Mile High Vineyard. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Danielle moved to Colorado in 2001 with her husband, Jay, to plant the Mile High Vineyard. In 2013, she pursued training with Dave Nixon and completed the Vineyard’s Denver School of Spiritual Direction.
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