No Turning Back

Apr 22 2020

One phrase that I have heard regularly during this crazy season of radical life change is ‘I can’t wait to GO BACK TO THE WAY IT WAS BEFORE!’.

It’s true that I can’t wait to travel again; have friends round for dinner; eat at a table in a Restaurant and watch Manchester United play again but I really don’t want to press the ‘Back button’ and thoughtlessly go back to the way things were.

Allow me to challenge that thinking and give you a few reasons why instead of going back, it is a time to go forward.

These are a few of the areas I think we may be doing better than before…

1. MARRIAGE – No Turning Back

Joyce and I have been married 38 years. We have kids and grandkids and have always been absolutely committed to marriage ‘until death us do part’. What we noticed about our 14 days of self-isolation was that we had to negotiate sharing the same tiny space of a small apartment ‘until 14 days do us part!’ In fact, many couples are finding that they haven’t spent this much time together since their honeymoon!

This season exposes the marriage relationship for good or for not so good. I can happily report however, that we are still married and enjoying each other’s company.

Think then action:

How can I use this time to be a better spouse?

2. HOME – No Turning Back

To be honest, I’m doing more in the home than before. I have realised that I have separated home and work roles way too much. I’m now re-learning to cook and taking on more home chores that my wife has selflessly done for decades. I can’t say that I’m ‘loving’ house-cleaning chores, but I’m loving a new season of sharing and doing life at home. There is no plan to go back to how it was before! And Joyce says: “Amen!”

Think then action:

What can I do now that I didn’t do before that will improve my marriage?

3. FAMILY – No Turning Back

Our kids and grandkids are in the UK, but for many, this season has thrown families together in semi-lockdown in the same home space. Those with little ones are having to get creative in order to entertain and ‘tire out’ their little cherubs. Parents and teens are facing things

like conversation and eating together. Don’t choose the past, forge a new future of relationship within the home.

Think then action:

What can I do to improve my Family relationships in this season?

4. CHURCH – No Turning Back

Church connection looks so different now we are not driving to a physical building to attend a church service! But what it shows is the validity or otherwise of our connection to the church community.

Again, some cannot wait ‘To go back to the way it was before’. But if our before depended on others doing everything for us so we could ‘enjoy church’ I think we can do better. This temporary reality is a massive opportunity that can help our understanding of ‘Church’.

Don’t get me wrong I am totally looking forward to ‘Live worship’; hugging my church friends; seeing people serve one another and to share the platform preaching and pastoring along with our team. But I have decided. I’m not going back, I’m going forward and I hope you will too.

If to any degree you were relying on pastors, preachers and the faith of others, you can now grasp this opportunity to get back to a personal relationship with Jesus. Talk to him every day in prayer, listen to Him and when we open the pages of the Bible for ourselves, expect God to highlight truth that will help us in our every day. It was said of the Disciples in Jerusalem. ‘They Devoted themselves to …’ (Acts 2:42). Rather than going back to being spoon-fed by others, let’s move forward to a fresh ‘First Love’ of Jesus.

Think then action:

What practical changes can I make to my ‘everyday’ so God can speak to me and renew my relationship with Him?

5. SO MUCH MORE

I believe we are doing better at so many more things such as helping our neighbours; valuing our vital Care Services and care workers; looking after the elderly; prioritizing what is and isn’t so important in life; finding new ways to communicate with one another; I think even the way we give our tithes and offerings online is so much better and smarter than before.

THINKING STRAIGHT

My suggestion today is that we don’t align our thinking to the Children of Israel who were afraid of a different future. They wanted to turn back to Egypt and the mundane rhythm of life they had become accustomed to. Instead, let’s align ourselves to the thinking and the spirit of Caleb and Joshua who wanted to press ahead and embrace a new future.

No need to turn back to the way things were people …

As someone once said: “THE BEST IS YET TO COME”

 

NOTE:

For those whose marriages are not holding up.

Contact: Pastoral Care +61 1300 53 53 53 or click the link below to talk to a pastor.

 

If you or someone close is affected by Domestic Family Violence.

Contact: 1800 RESPECT (National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service)