A Time for Renewal
I am not intimidated by new things. Give me all the new foods to try—the spicier and weirder the better. Give me a new board game, or a new city to explore—I’ll master them. Why not? Bring on these unknown joys and excitement. What can God show me through them?
It’s a different thing entirely when the new is sprung on you. As a new pastor in a new country, I expected some of these challenges, but I didn’t anticipate the scope. After living in the country for 3 weeks, the border between Canada and US was closed. Any ideas that Christy and I had about daily life as a family abruptly halted as the veil of caution and concern over COVID-19 descended upon the world.
In one sense, I’m grateful for the timing. I’m grateful we arrived in the country before the pandemic escalated, and grateful that we completed our list of immigration tasks before social distancing went into full effect. But I’m also confused, wondering what God is doing in this time and place. I was already dealing with so much “new.” Did we really need more change?
And yet, believing in God as the source of all things good means seeing that behind change is an opportunity and a gift. The last thing I want to do is to simplify or belittle the hardship that is wrecking our world. But I can speak personally to how this event has opened my eyes to my need for change. If every day is an act of worship, our daily habits are the songs and message of our witness. They form us and shape us. And if I’m honest, what I do each day does not always reflect the person I would like to become.
I see COVID-19 as a time for renewal—to pause and reflect on what has been normal, and then live into what the new “normal” might be as a husband, father and pastor. My prayer is that with these unusual days we look a little closer into our daily rhythms, seeking to order our lives around what matters most, Christ and his call, rather than be consumed by what often distracts us.
- Pastor Cris
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