Culture, Discipleship, Grace

Diminished Unhealthy Urgency

This pandemic is changing us. In uncomfortable ways and in some good ways. Let’s focus on the good to get through the difficult.

As I began my day this morning I was contemplating a newer reality for me, something that has taken place especially the last month. Usually I would wake up with a list to conquer, places to be, and an anxious urgency to get it all done. While I still have the same list of tasks the number of places and start times are different. But the anxious urgency has been diminished.

I have the same portfolio of work, and even the same number of meetings (which are virtual or outside at a distance). But the sense of a crushing burden of the week is different. And I am okay with it.

In the last year we saw the publication of numerous books on eliminating hurry as the cure to what ails us but those books often failed to deliver a fulcrum that could bring us into a different way of life. COVID did.

The pandemic, if we allow it to, can shift the things we value and the way we approach life. If we are lost to the idol of politics are self-righteousness there isn’t much hope, but if we start to value our neighbor, our family, even our enemies for the image-bearing souls they are, we might value the time we get with them more. We don’t feel like an intrusion like we used to. We take the time for connection. We learn again what it means to set aside our preference for the other and this is the way we grow.

The pandemic is also changing our pace and what a gift this is. Time is becoming less of a commodity. Even though some days feel like Groundhog’s Day (the movie) we don’t have the same pressure to fill each moment with meaninglessness.

I wonder what other ways the pandemic is shifting the way we live, the way we see the world, and where we place our hopes. For now I thankful for the diminishing of unhealthy urgency.

Culture, Discipleship

Where Are The Words?

Today on Twitter a freelance writer asked the ether if she was the only one that has faced slowness in the writing process during the pandemic. A pastor I follow chimed in that for him even the sermon writing process was feeling more difficult. These two, and others I have heard from, match the struggle I have been having. Wondering where the words are.

I am not a prolific writer, other than the weekly sermon (I supposed that’s a ten page paper each week, researched, outlined, and drafted), I haven’t had the itch to start new projects or even put thoughts in my journal.

Perhaps there is a numbness that follows so much news, and so many opposing views. An exhaustion in processing said information and trying to communicate decisions to a varied audience. Or maybe we can add creativity to the list of enterprises devastated by COVID!

I remain hopeful. Words will come. After all, plenty of people are saying and penning very thorough pieces pertaining to the pandemic and politics. I am praying my words come through on other topics!

So here is to stimulating the writing muscles, spreading the words around and doing more writing.

Culture

Living with Breath

Many of us are waking up numb after a weekend of watching the festering wound in our nation pour out its infection. We need change. We need a move of God. We need Pentecost again.

I have long appreciated the preaching of Chicago pastor Charlie Dates. Yesterday’s sermon “I Can’t Breathe” is an important one. It helps us see our theological errors when it comes to image bearing. Give it a watch and ask for the wind of the Spirit to give all of us breath.