I don’t know how you feel about the relationship between bloggers and the bloggers who follow their blog but to me it is a friendship that is formed around the love of God and the love of writing. I look at those who follow my blog not only as friends but as brothers and sisters in Christ. I see the relationship we have formed as a loosely followed handshake agreement to meet up on the pages of each other’s site to read the newly posted material. Am I glad there is not written contract as I would be in breach and in danger of some form of penalty. I’m sorry I have not lived up to my side of the agreement!
Not enough time – the new norm.
Since I started my new job in late October I have found myself more and more busy. I miss blogging. I miss reading other peoples’ blogs. I feel like I have moved far away from my closest friends. I feel like I am living a metaphor. I have been isolated from my fellow bloggers and unable to do things I like doing much like the lockdowns and the restrictions that have accompanied this pandemic. As much as I would like to interact with my fellow bloggers, I have no regrets taking on my new job. I love being used by God to bring healing and a sense of purpose to a church seeking Him as they plan out the future.
COVID – the new norm.
When I started the transitional process the church had just reopened from lockdown. Their pastor had left earlier in the year. They had no online church service, nowhere to turn for spiritual growth and no direction. I guess they could have joined another online church but that’s not the same. The loss was big and the uncertainty overwhelming. We only managed to meet in-person for three months before lockdown hit again. This time it was different. We had online sermons from our church, an online small group study and, with a lot of work, we were able to start posting worship as well.
Lockdown ended at the end of February but our in-person meetings were short lived. Our third wave has hit and we have returned to lockdown. This time it is different. This time it’s better. In the past, lockdowns limited religious gatherings to 10 people no matter the size of the indoor space, hardly worth opening the church up. This time we are allowed 15% capacity. This time we are open.
Tired – the new norm.
It is great to be open but to actually serve the church we must go from one service to two every Sunday. Normally we would be excited if we had to have two services but in the case of COVID, two services is not because of attendance growth but instead because of case count and ICU occupancy growth. What I gain because we have closed the church during the week so I avoid the one plus hour drive each way I lose on Sundays because now I preach and lead worship twice. I am not complaining, just stating my case for breaking my loosely followed handshake agreement to meet up on the pages of each other’s site to read the newly posted material.
I am sorry but not sorry – the new norm.
It was only a year ago that I was begging God to take me home. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to live, to serve, to pastor, it was my body that didn’t want to cooperate. I was reminded of this last Saturday when I sat outside the MRI room waiting my turn. I fought back tears as my mind jumped back to the last time I was in that same chair thinking that the pain couldn’t get much worse. Boy was I wrong! Over a year later, just entering the same hospital that performed the MRI’s and did their best to help me on three separate ER visits when the pain became too much, caused an emotional response that can range from tears to flashbacks. Life is better but the reminders of how bad it can get are never far away. Because of this I am sorry but not sorry. I am sorry that I don’t have the time to write more blog posts and that I don’t visit more of my fellow blogger’s sites, I have kind of broke the unwritten contract. I am not sorry that I am so busy doing what last year I thought I would never do again and that it has led to me being unable to write more blog posts and visit more of my fellow blogger’s sites!
What a difference a year can make creating a new normal.
I have not given up on finding more time to read and write. As a matter of fact it is my goal to adjust my schedule starting next week to allow for more posts and more visits. If that doesn’t happen as often as I want it to happen I have to admit that having the opportunity to go from hopelessness to transitioning a church, seeing my book Blueprint in print, leading worshiping and preaching every week will have to do! I will be sorry about what may be lost but I will not be sorry that once again God is using me!
When times are good, be happy;
but when times are bad, consider this:
God has made the one
as well as the other.
Therefore, no one can discover
anything about their future.