May I find freedom in limitation—
to fully give myself
To what I can do
rather that to worry about
what I cannot.
This short prayer from Justin McRoberts seems like an appropriate one for our current cultural moment. It’s a strange feeling to be uprooted from our normalcy so quickly. The world feels so fragile right now, and it’s easy to be discouraged and afraid. There is a very real part of me that is unsettled by the very clear uncertainty of so many things ahead of us.
For you Gen Zers, this will likely be a defining moment for your generation. It’s possible that it will fundamentally shape the way you see and interact with the world around you for decades. It’s hard to understand how a single event is able to do that, but it has been true of most generations and will be likely be true for yours as well. I think what’s most amazing about this experience is just how global of an event it actually is. People across the world are simultaneously having similar experiences.
Currently in Memphis this situation is not nearly as dire as in many other places. The biggest thing most of us are dealing with is how to cope with this new normal of social distancing. I pray that things don’t get worse here, but there is no promise that it won’t. In the meantime, my hope is that we begin to see newfound freedom in the limitations that we’re experiencing. This posture is one that nurtures growth and helps us see what is possible rather than what is not.
There are a lot of people hurting because of the losses suffered from the effects of this virus. We don’t ignore that pain, but we recognize the possibility to surround one another with love and support in whatever ways we can. The limitations we are experiencing in physical proximity give us an opportunity for creativity, to creatively love those who are experiencing heavy pain and loss. When we focus on the possibility, I think, it positions us to come out of the other side of this thing with deeper trust, deeper trust in God, in others, and in ourselves.
When we focus on possibility, we find hope that there is a way through this current crisis. We recognize that God is still working in the midst of our broken world, that he always has been. When we focus on possibility, we find trust in others rather than suspicion. We recognize that the fight is not against one another but against something else altogether. When we focus on possibility, we find out that we are more resilient than we ever knew. We recognize that God has made each of us for more than what we are currently experiencing.
It’s easy to be discouraged and afraid right now, but my hope is that we can begin to see clearly the freedom to love more deeply that has been put so clearly in front of us. It will take creativity and grace to learn how to do this well, but there’s something in me that is excited to figure it out.
Prayer and Reflection
Think about people who may need to hear an encouraging word from you. Pray for the courage to reach out and let them know you’re thinking of them.