I don’t know about you, but 2020 feels like a race. Definitely not a typical race. It feels like I am running in a race where you don’t know the finish line and the course keeps changing on you. Imagine with me for a second you are about to start a cross country race. The course is all set before you and you are standing with every runner at the starting line. You have prepared and trained for this race and it is on your home turf. The gun sounds and you take off with hope and energy.
Then, just a short time into the race they come over the loudspeaker and announce that the course has been altered. The 5K distance is now a new distance, but they don’t know how far. As you come to a turn, they re-route the course in a new direction. You think you know the new way, but just as you figure it out the course alters again. All this time, in the chaos, you have separated from the other runners. Your team is nowhere to be found. You have no idea where your coach is. You find yourself running through the trees with no direction and no idea where to go. Loneliness, confusion, frustration, and exasperation. You begin to lose hope. Then, just when you are about to stop running and despair, you hear your coaches voice over a distant loudspeaker. He begins to tell you to follow his voice. As you run toward the sound you start to hear him give you help. Direction. Reassurance. Encouragement. The woods are still around you and you are still alone, but you become renewed with a purpose and a hope.
COVID-19 has been that for many of us. We have had to re-invent our practices and our lives. We have been working under additional stresses and strains. Yet, I also know that God works best under duress. We are molded more in his image by the fire. What has God been teaching you in this? I know for one, He has reaffirmed the temporary nature of wealth, health, and comforts. As James tells us,
“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14 ESV).
We are here for such a short time and utilize these times to redirect our priorities, appreciate the blessings we have, and bring the hope we have in us to the world. I pray that you are listening to our great and wonderful ‘coach’ as he leads you through the chaos.