It’s been 3 weeks since life as we knew it changed. As with all experiences, I’ve been spending a lot of time observing, reflecting, and evaluating what lessons I can learn from this. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing what I’m learning with you. I hope it will encourage and challenge you. In today’s post, I’ll be specifically focusing on what I’m learning spiritually through this experience. Here we go!
We’re Learning that we are all Going to Die One Day.
Erwin McManus once has the opportunity to interview Larry King. He said, “Larry, you’re the best interviewer in the world. What questions should we be asking you?” To which Larry replied, “You should be asking me how I’m doing with my mortality.”
I believe the question this pandemic is asking all of us is: How are you doing with your mortality?
The reality is that every single one of us is going to leave this planet one day. This experience is just making that reality a little more real than it may have been just a month ago.
I recently read something that C.S. Lewis wrote about people’s fear of dying from the atomic bomb. I thought it was worth sharing with you. As you read his words, I encourage you to replace the words “atomic bomb” with the “coronavirus”.
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world that already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes to finding us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds. – CS Lewis — “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948)
As a person of faith, I am fine with mortality. I know that my eternity is secure in Christ. I certainly don’t want to leave this planet anytime soon, but if I do, I’ll be just fine. Knowing that my eternity is secure enables me to be grateful for every day and every experience that I have and it allows me to wake up and focus on living out my purpose every day. It’s amazing!
If you’re struggling while dealing with your mortality, I encourage you to read the blog post I wrote when I lost my sister. I go into detail on how you can ensure that your eternity is secure with God.
Don’t live another day without learning to be ok with your mortality.
We’re Learning Which Foundation we Have Built our Lives on
Jesus said, “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)
So, a storm has come. Are you standing or collapsing? If you are collapsing, perhaps it is because you’ve built your life on an unsustainable foundation. The reality is that there is only one thing you can build your life on to ensure you’ll never collapse and that is God.'A storm has come. Are you standing or collapsing? If you are collapsing, perhaps it is because you’ve built your life on an unsustainable foundation.'Click To Tweet
If you have discovered that you have been building your life on the wrong foundation, now is a great time to reset that foundation. Surrender your life to God. When you do, you’ll find the life you’ve always been searching for and you’ll lay a foundation worthy of building your life on.
We’re Recognizing all the Places we Found Value and Security Outside of God
Keith Moore once said, “If our identity is in anything we can lose, we’re in danger of an identity crisis.” If that is true, which I believe it is, there is only one thing we can ever find our identity in that we will never lose and that is in Christ. While many people who would say their identity has been in Christ, I believe that in crisis, many of us are finding that we found way too much identity in:
Proverbs 23:4-5 says, “Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.”
Isn’t it little crazy that as a country we were at an all-time economic high and literally in the matter of a few days we’re facing the biggest economic downturn we’ve ever faced along with a lot of uncertainty about the future.
Even if we come through this and end up being in a better place than we’ve ever been before, may we never forget how poor of a god money is.
I Timothy 6:17-19 says, “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. 18 Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. 19 By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.
When we stop pursuing money as a means to identity and security and replace that pursuit with the pursuit of God, that is where we truly find joy, life, and freedom.
Our Plans, Our Jobs, Our Titles, and Our Success
James 4:13-17 says, ‘Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” Otherwise, you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.’
I believe that we can get so focused on our jobs, titles, and plans that we risk missing out on God’s entire plan for our lives. I’m hoping that through this storm, that people will realize that everything they were pursuing with their life may not be the best use of their life.
I pray that we will all surrender to God in this moment and ask Him to place us where He wants us to be. There is no safer and better place to be than in the will of God. Surrounder your control to Him.
Let’s all return to finding our identity, security, and worth in one thing:
This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things.I, the Lord, have spoken! -Jeremiah 9:23-24
We’re Learning What’s Important and What’s Not
Dave Hollis said this recently and it hit home, “Hear this: In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to.”
In the movie, “The Greatest Showman”, my favorite song is, “From Now On”. It made a huge impact on my life and helped me reprioritize my life. I had to make some decisions about what my life would look like, “From now on…”
I encourage you to watch it and reflect on what you have been pursuing that may not actually be that important. Evaluate what is important and what’s not in your life. Once you know what’s important, determine that from now on you will only pursue that which is important.
My life verse is Matthew 6:33. It says, “ Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Seek God first in your life.
Seek God first in your family.
Seek God first in your job and career.
Seek God first in your finances.
Seek God first in your health.
Seek God first in every area of your life.
God promised that if you’d make seeking Him important, He’ll take care of everything you think is an important food, shelter, clothing, purpose, peace, joy, etc.
That’s what I’m learning spiritually through this pandemic.
What are you learning?