Nobody likes change unless it’s their idea!

Do you think that’s true?

I do! And I speak as someone who loves initiating change but, let’s be honest, who has enjoyed all the changes that Covid19 thrust upon us a little over a year ago!

Many folks in my church have asked, “When will we go back?”
But what if we’re not supposed to go back?
Maybe we’re never supposed to go back.
Maybe we’re only supposed to go forward.
But what does going forward look like?

Two of my favourite quotes come to mind. The first is from the French Critic Charles Du Bos who once said “The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are – for what we would become”.

As we prepare to re-emerge from lockdown, and the hope that we can see light at the end of Covid tunnel, this is a moment worthy of pause. To reflect. What have we learned from this unprecedented year? And in the light of that, what should we let go of in order to embrace a new, and hopefully better, reality?

Personally, I want to thoroughly reject rushing. More importantly, I long for the courage to sacrifice the speed of achieving endless ‘to do’ lists (I’m a Myers Briggs ENTJ) on the altar of investing more time and attention in all my relationships. I’d rather my tombstone read “He loved people deeply” than “He got lots of work done.” Although both would be awesome (I jest…a little!).

And the second quote, from another French man, the Novelist Andre Gide, who said, “One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”

It definitely feels like we’re ‘at sea’ in so many ways right now. We’re stuck in this land-between, this desert place, this wilderness experience, this no-mans-land, this neutral zone – pick your metaphor. But there’s still time for embracing this as a creative moment. To think differently. To discover new habits, rhythms, and ways of being. To shift priorities. To shake things up. To say ‘no’ more often. If we focus on looking back, then we’ll inevitably miss the new opportunity that lies ahead of us.

Just recently I was encouraged by a friend to change up my daily prayer moments with God. To spend less time talking and more time listening. More time reflecting. More time asking God a simple question. Three words – “God, show me!” Show me what’s important? Show me what you’re up to? Show me what I should be and do?

It’s a well-worn passage but these words from Isaiah 43:18-19 are timely for this moment as God extends this same invitation to us – to be focused on what’s He’s doing (not what He’s done) and join in with that! What He’s doing in me! What He’s doing through me! What He’s doing around me!

“The Lord says, “Forget what happened before,
and do not think about the past.
Look at the new thing I am going to do.
It is already happening. Don’t you see it?
I will make a road in the desert
and rivers in the dry land.”

I pray that God will give you a forward-looking mindset, with the ears to hear and the eyes to see the new possibilities that lie ahead and a lion-heart of courage to say a big fat YES to it!