There has been a lot of disruption over the last few years. When Donald Trump was elected he disrupted a lot, from how the constitution is interpreted, to what behavior is acceptable in our leaders, to how much science we believe. Disruption is his MO, partly because shaking things up confuses others, and while they are just trying to reorient, he moves resolutely forward and can take what he means to.
I went snorkeling and saw some fish in coral earlier this year. I saw Moray Eels sticking their heads out of holes and sea urchins holding on to their little spots in the choral. I think about what happens when something disrupts them, shakes the sea bed, breaks the systems of choral, and all of them are dislodged. What will be the new landscape as it settles again and regrows? Who will be in what holes? What will be the new shape of the choral? What is the new MO for the sea bed system? Is it going to be more beautiful? Or less?
COVID-19 has also been a major disruptive force. One that disrupts all of our routines in very tangible ways. What have you added and what have you let go of? It has changed our economy. People who had jobs they were stuck in are now looking for new options. This is a sobering sound-byte but someone told me after quarantining restrictions were lifted in China there were a record number of divorce applications applied for. People who were in relationships are free to choose new directions.
COVID-19 has forced us to make new technologies part of our rhythms so we can communicate. Now we know we can ZOOM for church and friends from across the country can join. And this week I didn't have to brave the 1.5 hours of traffic to go to my counseling appointment.
But I'm curious who will be the winners as things settle. What powers will hold the most sway? What will be the dominant paradigms?
How can we shape those paradigms to be ones with generosity at the helm, instead of fear. What would it be like to set a new standard? A new vision of what life can be. Maybe the fate of the world needs this.
And I think Generosity and Fear are the two most powerful players in all of this. Will we tighten our wallet and therefore strangle our whole economy? Or will we trust God will provide, and seek to give to those who are in need?
I know this is not easy. It takes a whole new type of belief, one strong enough that we risk our financial wellbeing. But that is what disruption allows, that leap is more evidently in front of us more than ever before. Finances are not the only we can be generous bravely. In fact, how will we use our new amount of free time? Who will we choose to reach out to, now that we're getting comfortable with virtual meetings. Who just needs help getting groceries?
Every sermon I've heard since this began had this as a theme. Disruption isn't necessarily bad. There are old things we need to let go of, and this is one chance to do that. And there are new things we should adopt. Now is our chance.
So I've been asking this of myself. What is a new vision of who I want to be and how I want to live my life? What are those things I've taken for granted as part of my routines and my perceptions that are unhelpful. How can I live out of generosity, instead of fear.
Would anybody want to do a group zoom call so we can brainstorm what that would look like in our lives? How can we be purposeful during this time of disruption to be resolute in our intentions and change this world to make it look like what God would want?