Sometimes my approach to spiritual discipline and being prepared for the calling God has for me can be pretty lacklustre. At times my spiritual discipline has had all the enthusiasm of doing a couple of sit ups at the gym and calling that enough of a work out for my abs. Talking about commitment to goals, Arnold Schwarzenegger recounted watching Muhammad Ali doing sit ups in the gym, someone asked him how many sit ups he did. Ali responded “I don’t know, I don’t start counting until it hurts”. Wouldn’t it be great if we could muster the same enthusiasm in our spiritual disciplines? Going beyond our natural giftings and purposefully doing that which does not come naturally to us.
This year has been a year of unexpected changes. For some of us COVID-19 has caused hardship and for others the period of enforced isolation was a blessing. Yet, for most of us the pandemic has brought a mixture of good and bad. The circumstances of life, particularly difficult ones tend to leave a permanent mark on us. They change us.
Things I have pondered while locking the chooks up at night
Each night I wander up the hill on our property and lock the chooks away safely for the night. I could do it earlier, but I enjoy going up in the dark. On clear nights it always takes me longer because I get captivated by the spectacular display of stars. The Milky Way is glorious and the clouds of Magellan, seemingly so small but made up of billions of stars, is just mind blowing. In the stillness and the dark, under such an enormous canopy of stars, it is easy to feel tiny and insignificant, the immensity of the Universe is hard to grasp.
Uncertainty seems to be the thought or emotion most people locally have expressed rather than fear. Overseas, where the threat of death to Covid-19 seems more real, fear dominates. Here in New Zealand, it seems people are more stuck with uncertainty. Questions like: What will the future look like? Will I have a job? When can I see my family and friends again? When can I travel again and how far? When will things be normal again? What will the new normal look like? We can be left thinking will we be OK? Will I be OK?