It’s official! My family’s life has gone completely off the rails. Eight weeks of stay-at-home orders, teleworking, hunting for hand sanitizer like it was the Holy Grail, homeschooling, and running a short-order grill has reduced us to utter chaos. If you are wondering what the exact moment looked like when we realized our helpless state, it was when someone in our family (not naming names, but it wasn’t I) texted Wake County Public Schools to ask where Publix kept the salad dressing.
The growth and development of a disciple of Jesus follow a pattern: orientation – disorientation – reorientation. There are seasons of our spiritual life when we are confident, clear, and filled with a sense of purpose. We do a lot of high-level thinking in this time – How do we fit into the creation? What is God’s will? How can I live in love with my neighbors? Then there are the times when we are confused, unsteady, trying to find meaning and leaning hard into faith. Our spirits struggle – Where is God? Can I ever be forgiven? Why? And then the pieces start to come back together, a reorientation. We give thanks for God’s care and providence; we are thankful for the important things in our life – daily bread, family and friends, our homes; we renew our relationship with God and move forward. Orientation – disorientation – reorientation. This pattern continues and repeats, and God is gracefully present in all of the phases. God remains through it all.
I can confidently locate my spirit in this pattern today. There is quite a bit of disorientation. Everything seems upended, and there is a general uneasiness that creeps into everything. I share this because some of you may be feeling this way too. We are all in this together, and thankfully your church has help to offer. There are no easy answers; there are no magic spells or special prayers that will make this all go away; there is no one who can see into the future and answer the question on everyone’s hearts – how long? Greystone has none of that to offer. But we will listen; we will walk alongside; we will pray; we will remind each other of God’s provision and care; we will wait together. We will do this because we are a community of faith. In these days I think all of us understand how important community is – it’s a gift from God.
So if you are confused and struggling, needing a trusted friend, please don’t text Wake County Public Schools! Send a message to one of your pastors, join a Bible Study Zoom call, reach out to a Deacon, or share your prayer requests. And above all else be reassured, God is right here with you and me – especially now.
Associate Minister of Faith Formation