I’m quarantined right now… and you probably are too! I was supposed to be meeting with a group of pastors up in Breckinridge this week, but instead we’ve been “retreating” on line via Zoom conference calls. We’re not alone in that, countless numbers of people are doing the same thing, and we’re discovering it’s a good way to connect right now.
Social distance doesn’t mean social disconnection. While it may require a little extra planning, on-line connections can be soul satisfying. I’m a highly social person and prefer meeting my friends face to face, but for now, on-line is as close as we can get. Last week I met with four different groups for coaching and several individuals as well. To my surprise, I’m not really feeling socially deprived at all!
At the outset of one of my meetings I read the words of Psalm 111:1, “Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people.” Meeting God’s people can happen face to face or on-line, but meeting God can happen anywhere at anytime. As we read in Genesis 28:16-17 Jacob discovered that. “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the Lord in in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it! … What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
I’m learning to pay better attention these days. Dallas Willard noted: “Jacob’s entire perspective was changed. There is no place where God is not, and we will know this as we learn to pay attention.” Any place where we sense God speaking to us becomes a sacred place. Some call it “holy noticing.” It usually involves slowing down and listening up and even celebrating the God-designed or God-allowed limitations that come our way.
Learning to live within the limits of this quarantine is requiring adjustments for us all. While I’ve worked primarily from my home office for years, now I’m not allowed to travel, eat in restaurants, go to the gym or even physically assemble with our church family. All of that has been a loss. However, in other ways I’m learning to celebrate my limitations. While I continue to enjoy a surprising number of opportunities, I’m increasingly okay with a quieter life. I’ve come to accept that I am where I’m supposed to be right now at any given time of any given day.
As David said in Psalm 16:3, “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places…” I wish that I had been more aware of this a few decades ago. How is it with you?
- Are you discontented with your quarantined life?
- Are you craving more connection or more opportunity?
- Are you envious of others who enjoy more freedom or more influence?
Has it occurred to you that God has you right where He wants you to be right now? Think about it, God does most of His work through ordinary people, in ordinary places just like yours. While it’s good to look forward to increasing our boundaries soon, it’s even better to take note and to celebrate the unique opportunities of our current limitations.
This week I told my covenant group, “We can’t give thanks for that which we don’t even notice.”
- I’m taking note of the beauty that surrounds me right in our home. This morning I noticed some beautiful art and family photos that I had been overlooking!
- I’m taking note of unusual opportunity to enjoy two long daily walks with Molly Brown the Dog of Renown and my favorite wife as well!
- I’m taking note of the gift of technology that enables me to meaningfully connect with pastors both close to home and from around the country.
I’m in a very good place today. I’m right where God wants me to be and I hope you can say the same… celebrating your limitations!