No one expects the unexpected

Difficult and unexpected situations tend to bring out some unexpected things.

  • We don’t realize how important something is until it’s gone. Like toilet paper or deodorant.
  • We don’t fully appreciate how much teachers do, until we start teaching our own kids at home.
  • We aren’t grateful enough for simple opportunities to gather together, shake hands, give a hug, and just connect with other people, until we can’t.

We find lots of challenges in having to stay home. But, when we look for them, we can find plenty of things that we can be thankful for too. 

  • We get to spend more time with family—yes, that can be a challenge sometimes too. If you are struggling, try a mantra that my family uses: “I love my family all the stinking time.” Just keep repeating it. It might work. Eventually.
  • A lot of people are getting out and walking more. That’s a good thing-its healthy, it brings us closer to God’s creation, and it gives us a chance to see people (from a socially-appropriate distance) that we otherwise wouldn’t.
  • We have the opportunity to gain appreciation for those things that we have lost or are more difficult.

There’s also one more side of this too. Any time there is a break in routine and schedule, it is a chance for evaluation and change. Maybe there are things happening in your life that you don’t like or, after some reflection, you realize could be improved. This is a chance to change something for the better.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of weeks absorbing what various other ministry leaders around the nation are saying. Current events are having an interesting effect where they are placing everyone on an equal playing field. Whether you’re part of a multi-site megachurch or a little country church with a couple of dozen members, we’re all at the same place: we don’t know exactly what to do. So we move forward the best we can with what we have.

That is going to have long-term ramifications. There are going to be a lot of changes to churches when everything is said and done. Our pastors, our members, and the world as a whole is seeing everything in a new light, and it will affect how we do ministry and church for the long term. The reason for that is simple: a lot of churches have taken a lot of things for granted, and this break is bringing to light what is really important and valuable.

The same can be true for you. Take time to reflect on what is important, what is valuable, what has real meaning in your life, and lean into that. The outside things, the distractions and the less valuable things that take time away from the better things—eliminate them.

Use this time to better yourself. Walk more. Be self-reflective. Spend more time in God’s Word. Maybe learn something: grab a book or look at some of the free online learning resources available now. Disruptions aren’t always bad. Let something good come out of this one.

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