Hey there... blessings again this day!
It’s been interesting to listen to the common themes working their way through the conversations I’ve been a part of and even the ones I’ve overhear at the store or somewhere else. Nearly all of it, of course sourced by the CoranaVirus, but the conversations are as much about the impact of measures being taken as there is discussion about the disease itself. A lot of feelings and thoughts, but very similar in nature.
It might help us to cover the steps of a Paradigm Shift to understand the commonality of our thinking. A paradigm shift begins with an event or crisis that moves up and off of our ‘normal’. This is, by nature, stressful, and is followed by concentrated effort to resolve the issues causing the unease and do whatever is necessary to return life back to the normal. Throughout this process there is a gnawing sense of unease and often anxiety. If this state of flux continues long enough, we slowly begin to accept that the old ‘normal’ is permanently gone, and begin shifting our thoughts and energy to the task of establishing a new ‘normal’, but this too takes time, resulting in still more unease and added stress. Finally, often after a period of time much longer than we had hoped, life settles down and the new normal begins to take root. The hardship in the process is a very real human reaction: a sense of loss or grief. And pain. Sometimes subtle, other times overwhelming.
It’s certainly clear that we’re in such a shift. Our entire society has been uprooted. And depending on what level each individual, family or organization feels threatened, we will see varying levels of emotion and reaction, but no one is escaping the change. We’re all going and we’re all unsure where we’ll land... and we all wish it were over tomorrow! We’re thus quick to be outraged, hasty to be suspicious, and keen to the knowledge that there are some who will find ways to take advantage of the situation and pad their wallets or power bases. This also helps us understand why every new government announcement seems like yet another more frustrating edict; each one represents another step away from the old normal. It also explains the commonality of themes and dominating influence of our conversations; when ‘normal’ is swept away, it’s the One Big Thing, and will continue to be so for quite some time.
Understanding that the enemy of humanity desires to keep us in a constant state of unease, the important challenge for us who carry the very presence of God is not to somehow live outside of The Shift with some kind of escapist mindset, trying desperately to appear we’re above the process, but rather to walk authentically through this shift, with one another and with our neighbors, deeply infused with Father’s peace.
Yep, we’ll continue to be tempted everyday to fret and worry, especially if this drags on for many months, but our relationship with Father through the Holy Spirit provides a firm base from which to navigate as we wait. It’s an opportunity to walk with others, especially when they’re struggling with fear or feel overwhelmed. We carry a peace that is given, not created or earned. And we know where to find it!
Below is a prayer we’ve been using this week for the early morning men’s prayer team. It’s adapted from Psalm 91 and focuses on our dependence on the Lord’s faithfulness and covering. Insert someone’s name and pray it over them, quietly to yourself or aloud, if they’re willing.
"Dear Father, I pray this blessing from Psalm 91:1-6 over (their name) today.
May (their name) dwell in Your shelter, Most High and abide in Your shadow, Almighty Father. May they say to You, Father, “You are my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.” May they trust that You can, and will, deliver them from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. May (their name) trust that You will cover them with Your pinions, and that under Your wings they will find refuge and that Your faithfulness is a shield and buckler (a covering shield). May they believe that, because of You, Father, they will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. Thank you Father for your steadfast love, in Jesus Name, Amen"
Walking in peace,
Working through the process of being the man Jesus intentioned for me... while we work through the process of becoming the church Jesus intentioned for us to be