With San Francisco starting to move forward in safe reopening phases, we have a new opportunity ahead of us to re-engage intentionally. The jobs, church life, and social gatherings that were before we went into shelter-in-place are gone... at least for a long time. What does that mean so many months later as we move forward (Lord willing) into greater points of gathering (for those who are comfortable)? I’m not sure of all the implications, but here are some I’m wrapping my head around and wanted to encourage you as well:
Be okay with the unknown.
We don’t have control over COVID numbers and safety, we don’t have control of city- and state-wide restrictions, we have no way to control attendance at whatever does happen in person or engagement of what we can do online. But we do have a God who knows all of it, who has not lost control for a moment. So no matter what church looks like in this approaching season, we know He will be the light to our paths.
Be intentional, take risks, and step forward.
I don’t know about you, but I have gotten into new rhythms during SIP that I now need to step away from. The change into SIP was forced; I didn’t have a choice, so I adapted and made new routines. But the transition out of SIP seems voluntary in many ways, not just in terms of what events we choose to attend, but in how we attend them, how we re-engage community life, and what new rhythms we establish as a result (all this assuming we are able to safely make these changes!). Change can be intimidating, but it’s coming and it begs the question: who is the Lord inviting you to be in and through the change?
It’s easy to think of resilience and stick-to-it-iveness as things you either have or don’t have, but grit can be developed with attention, time, and effort. It’s a commitment to getting up after we fall, getting help where we need it, and not allowing our inner critic to stop our feet from moving. The Spirit is our helper, the fuel in our tanks, and no matter what ups and downs are ahead, He’ll guide us. If you’re like me and finding yourself easily exhausted, don’t quit, don’t give into distraction or discouragement. Press in and ask the Lord to help thicken your skin and your resolve. Lastly, when in doubt, reach out. Don’t walk through this alone, don’t sit in hurt by yourself, and don’t leave God out of any aspect of your life. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD! (Psalm 31:24)