Our lives feel a bit like this picture of Banda Aceh, Indonesia. The first picture is before the 2004 tsunami and the second picture is just after. I’m not trivializing the 230,000 people that lost their lives in that tragedy. It paints a powerful picture of what many of us feel in this time of global quarantine.
As we slowly crawl through this time, we can get disoriented, discontented, distracted, disillusioned…lots of things.
But stay the course, friends!
I remember the end of 2008. I was working at Starbucks and my store closed on November 22nd. Now what?
Well, it’s when I decided to jump into Ad Lib full-time. When I worked at Starbucks, I had to get up at 4:30 AM. And now I didn’t have anyone telling me when to show up. I could just start working whenever I wanted to.
So I decided to “sleep in” and get up at 5:30 AM every workday.
That single decision has stayed with me for twelve years. And it has shaped the way I approach what I do.
This quarantine has challenged that, but I’m pressing into that discipline again. Because it brings life! Schedule your life as though someone else was requiring it. In other words, when we lose our routine, we get disoriented and unmotivated. A day or two like this is fine, but weeks…not so much.
On Easter, as I watched the livestream from ACTS Covenant Fellowship (our sending church in the States), Bruce Lengeman challenged us. He recounted his experience that week where he “wasted an evening and ate too many chips.” (Let the one without sin cast the first stone. LOL)
And then he acknowledged, “It was sloppy.”
And I thought, that’s it! It’s really easy to live sloppy right now. It feels like this time doesn’t count. Like we’re just killing time until this is over.
But this is a time of TREMENDOUS purpose, of GREAT opportunity, of CRUCIAL intentionality! This is a time to be “never lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (Romans 12:11)
Some questions I’m asking:
- What is God doing?
- What is the Father inviting us into?
- What is flaring to the surface? Pay attention! What dross is He refining from you?
- What are you doing to keep your worship team from isolation?
- What are you praying for most? And “where” are you tarrying in Jerusalem (at home) for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1:4)
- Where are you stuck or where can we help each other out?
- How are you investing your time?
Five ideas that I’m implementing:
I just started to listen to Nir Eyal's audiobook Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life. He said, “Distraction is the opposite of Traction. Don’t let yourself get distracted.” Whoa! We need to gain traction in these days.
I also just signed up for Rachel and Dave Hollis’ “Next 90 Days.” (They usually do a “Last 90 Days” to invest the same kind of energy for the last 90 days of a year that we do for the first 90 days, but this is focused on these current 90 days.) They focus on doing the “5 to Thrive” (the five things you commit to doing every day for 90 days): Water, Exercise, Food, Wake Up, Gratitude. Sounds good, eh?
I’ve also joined spiritual movements: Unite714.com and https://louengle.com/pentecost/ These give me motivation to be prayerful and tune me in to what God is doing across the Church.
I will be watching Danny Silk’s “how to SURVIVE your kids during QUARANTINE” webinar. It has one for parents, one for kids.
We’re always on the lookout for good family movies. From April 15-21, Bethel Music is streaming their movie “Bright Ones” for free! We’ll be watching tonight: brightones.bethelmusic.com
This time matters. It may well be that the dude that hid his talent because he was scared was a lot like us right now. Let’s steward it well together! Avoid being sloppy.