Debbie Salter Goodwin
Growth in the Time of Corona and Chaos
I think we all went into our COVID-19 corners thinking this too shall pass. We made our plans for a few weeks and expected to get back to normal.
But each week the seriousness ramped up and took away more of our lives until we felt like swiss cheese with too many holes to plug! Now we’re screaming, enough already; do or die, we’ve got to get back to work, family and friends. We’re looking for purpose and answers and some kind of normal.
But are we looking for growth? Are we looking for God?
C. S. Lewis, no stranger to pain and loss, said:
We’d prefer not to be categorized with a deaf world. We’d rather be finger-pointers and blame our anti-God culture for needing this wake-up call. However, I know God’s megaphone is directed to us, to me, as well. Maybe even more.
So I’ve been trying to look at the forced withdrawals this time has brought to my life. I
ve been asking what is my part in this charos? Most importantly, I’ve been asking, am I growing through this or just gritting my teeth and enduring it? And the BIG question: what will I take into my new normal?
A commitment to grow is not an automatic result from upheaval. It takes focus. It takes listening. It takes wanting to admit where our lives got so tangled and stressed because we leaned into the loudest voices, and not always the most important ones.
We must not ignore God’s megaphone directed to us. What does He want us to learn about ourselves, our families, how we’ve prioritized our values and activities? What part of this forced withdrawal has renewed us, restored us? What part of the chaos has a lesson with our name on it? How can we keep that part as we put the pieces of our lives back together?
Here are the questions I’m using to begin my personal manifesto for new normal:
What rhythms have made it easier for me to be present for the people in my world? How can I keep them when life ramps up again?
What attitudes or perspectives do not reflect the passions of Jesus?
What have I taken for granted about corporate worship? What will take me deeper than just being glad to be back together?
What has God been saying through His megaphone to me? Am I listening?
Have the conversations you need with those you love. Listen and listen some more. We have been exposed, but not to just to the corona virus. We’ve been exposed to a different way to live. Some of it we never want to experience again. But the good things don’t belong to the pandemic or protests. They were gifts from God. We need to give attention to His gifts.
And we need to do it now, before we have a chance to undo it.