Dear friend, yes we are being prompted into a season of social distancing but the Spirit moves especially during the bleakest and darkest of times and moves with creative purpose.
When the earth was being created, it was created from out of the midst of chaos and nothingness but the Spirit moved and the Spirit got creative and something amazing was born out of the watery chaos of death.
So today, it’s Mothering Sunday in the UK and I have a few words that I want to reflect upon: Connection, Opportunity, Mission and Creation.
Yesterday, it touched me that even though social distancing is being enforced upon us now, that now is the time that we actually need to connect more than ever.
As humans, we are naturally social yet our normal way of living has caused us to be together yet disconnected, together yet often negative – we’ve lived very self-centredly and part of that has been the result of an Individualistic and Meritocratic mindset.
But today we are called to connect in ways that maybe we haven’t done in a while, in ways that aren’t our norm especially when parents are having to actively parent their children for longer, families are having to learn to actively live in peace for longer, to work together in order to not just survive and get through this but to get through this better and more whole.
As an introvert it’s challenged me to be a better friend and reach out to people more, to check in with them and see if they are OK not because it comes naturally to me but because they might need that extra human touch and if I’m honest so do I. It’s an opportunity to use social media in a way that’s a blessing, to share things that are uplifting, empowering and edifying instead of the same old stuff that is usually pumped out – I’m so thankful that in the last few days the posts from my friends have been thoughtful and thought-provoking in this way.
But it’s also a time to get re-connected with God and I especially feel that this is the case because we are here going through this trial for a reason and that reason is Mission. But if we are stuck in fear and the littleness that often erupts during times of chaos and uncertainty then we are disconnected from the Movement of the Spirit. We can be sure of one thing, that God wants us to recognise His creative and regenerative energy at work even during this time, and if we are open to and connected to Him then He will also reveal an opportunity for Mission to us.
A couple of weeks back I wrote some thoughts about why as Christians we need to be more ecologically minded, paying more attention to the environment and doing our bit to be good stewards of this beautiful creation that God has given to us. Now we can see what happens when we do not work in alignment with creation, it revolts in some shape or form, and as a friend shared the other day, it kind of feels like the earth is sending us to our room for time out to think about how naughty we’ve been.
And it’s funny that all of this is happening now, during Spring, the season of new life, during the time leading up to Passover and Resurrection Sunday – there is definitely a message in all of this, an opportunity for change and rebirth if we are connected to what God is doing.
As Christians, we can easily make our lives about the familiar and safe, our church communities, our beliefs and doctrines, our families and our own personal relationships with God, the same old pat responses are given “God will see us through”, “this too will pass” etc yet nothing changes, nothing is done, nothing new is created from the chaos.
I believe that this season of chaos is an opportunity to move alongside the Spirit of God and bring new life into the world. Ask God what your mission and purpose is during this time, be prayerful, be open, be receptive to see what God would ask of you during this time. And if you are doubtful, research does show that during difficult times doing work that takes you outside of yourself and your own problems is very uplifting and powerful.
I know it might feel like what can you really do when you’re stuck at home, but we can pray and do the things we need to do to stay connected with God so that we’re focused on what He wants us to focus on. Maybe all He needs from us is for us to stand beside Him, to show that we are paying attention, we are listening and we are waiting, that our hearts beat in unison with His, that we care.
This is an opportunity to make the latter better than the former, to make a difference.
So just to recapture what I’ve said today:
1- Even though we are physically separated, positive relationships are more important now than ever for our emotional and mental well-being.
2- Reconnecting with God is vital to experiencing greater peace, yes, but also to be in step with Him, to stand with Him during this time and show that we care about what He cares about.
3- To be open to doing work that is creative and regenerative and to step out of old patterns and ways of being, to find Mission in the Madness.
Praying for your safety, wellness and wholeness during this time. Dealing with anxiety at this time? Feel free to read my post on dealing with Coronavirus anxiety and fear.