Off in the distance, I could see it coming – galloping toward me like a herd of wild horses. It was an intriguing yet perplexing thought that I tried my best to avoid. I ducked but it successfully circled my head and entered through my left ear. A sneak attack.
“Well …….. with this whole COVID-19 stuff and ministry on hold indefinitely, maybe it’s time to enjoy life a little more. Relax, call it what it is, and cherish these last years of my life. (I’m not even that old) Move to Denver, see my daughter, son-in-law, and step Granddaughter more – then ride off into the sunset and play a lot of golf along the way”.
SAY WHAT? ———— Wow, what the heck was that? It was so obvious – just like the invisible enemy to suggest something so enticing.
Then the word RESIGNATION popped into my head. It was as if I heard the “call of the wild”. I’ve been doing this business and ministry thing in one form or another my whole life. 40+ years. Maybe it’s time to kick back and watch someone else do it and support them from the sidelines.
Oh my gosh. Is this it? Time to retire? I started to laugh out loud. I have said my entire life, retirement is not in my vocabulary. Not an option. As a Christ-follower to even remotely consider this option is blasphemy, right? My Mom’s maiden name is Kauffman – we don’t retire. After all, I made a commitment to finish well. Finishing well with a single-digit handicap doesn’t seem all that spiritual.
So let’s get to the bottom of this. Resignation shows up in all sorts of ways. We eat ice cream at midnight because we’re feeling sorry for ourselves, we watch porn online because it’s a great substitute for real relationships (not), or we binge watch Netflix because we’re forced to stay at home. None of which is the long-term answer to our quest for freedom. Only anesthesia used to avoid the pain we’re feeling.
It seems like a wildly freeing thing to retire and rock on the front porch when I’m not hitting the links. Yet, I imagine after a month I’d go stir crazy. Isn’t that what’s happening in the COVID Era? We’re all going through social withdrawal. (Unless you’re an extreme introvert). Resigning myself to a life of leisure may very well be the most boring concept I’ve conjured up to date.
I was reading from The Message paraphrase today. In Matthew 6:34 Eugene Peterson puts it this way. “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Maybe that’s what I’m trying to avoid. The hard things.
I hear the term disruptive innovation. Wikipedia says: “In business theory, disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.” We certainly are in a new market, not only in business but ministry, global health care, and how we live our lives in the day-to-day routine. We have an option here. We can run from the current and future conditions or we can stay in the fight.
I’m tempted to run but know I’m staying in the fight.
You see, the enemy of the faithful would much rather have me run and retire. The issue with that? God has a calling on my life and I’ll make no “agreement” with the enemy to derail that calling. Nor should you. We can pray against it upon arrival. DOA as they say. Giving any further consideration borders on a sinful response. That doesn’t mean God is up there, over there, or in there ready to zap you. It just means you need to settle yourselves in a more intimate way to hear what God really thinks of you. What He’s calling you up into. NOT resignation, but restoration. Restoration of your own hearts.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Prov 4:23
Our hearts are hurting right now. Life is being taken from us. Not just physical life but the freedoms that many of us have enjoyed for our lifetime. The modern-day American Church hasn’t experienced much of this in the past. The absence of corporate worship. The gathering together as a family of believers. It’s a strange thing to us. But God isn’t absent in it. Jesus lives in each of us who call Him Lord. I believe we’re experiencing a great awakening. Check out one of my earlier blogs on God’s Story.
We are living in a time where we must innovate during the disruption. Innovate in our relationship with Christ. Draw on the energy He provides. The knowing He wants to reveal to each of us. Why give in to resignation. It’s a life extinguisher, not a life-giver. We know what the Life-Giver has for each of us. That is Hope. Hope in the future. Hope in the present. God’s got this. He’s got you. Right where He wants you. In case you think this pandemic was an accident, it wasn’t. God didn’t cause it, but He’ll use it. He’ll use it in each of our lives. Keep your Heart with all Vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life.
Amen and Amen.