This season that we are in has been an unusual one. Note well…I am not speaking specifically about the halting of protocols, the stripping away of the reliability of systems and structures, or the redefining of the things we considered, until now, to be ‘normal’. Initially, the news of social distancing, circuit breakers and isolating, brought thoughts of the many things I would have the time to do…FINALLY!
Very early in this shut-in season, though, I realised that, despite my good intentions, this isn’t my season to be busy. In this season I’ve had to be intentional about shutting out the noise around me, (ie. all the prompts to do this, do that, sign-up for a course here, acquire a skill there, host a new online programme or special event etc… etc…) I have had to be intentional about hearing with my spirit and not with my physical ears. Although not easy, I’ve had to accept and appreciate that a surrendered life means also surrendering to God’s schedule and His divine agenda. I’ve had to understand that while others may be called and given the grace to be busy, this is, instead, my season to re-calibrate, return to the well of Samaria and fall in love with my Life Giver all over again.
Even as I write this I am reminded of how the book of Acts tells us that the Holy Spirit kept Paul from preaching the gospel in Asia in one particular season and that it was, instead, the Spirit’s desire that Paul and those with him prepare themselves to go to the assignment intended for them in Macedonia. In Acts 16, the Bible records this:
6 They passed through the and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them”
I interpret “the night” here to mean, during the time when Paul was less busy, when his attention was not being held by life’s daily routine or by him actively being and doing, THEN the vision was revealed. Only then was the schedule of God made known to him.
I celebrate those who have been called to be busy in this season, and I rejoice over your accomplishments. I also celebrate those who have been called to be still, to allow yourself (body, mind and spirit) to be re-calibrated and prepared for the next season. For both categories of persons, I remind and encourage you to remain focussed on who you are, what you were called to do, and why you were called to do it; remaining faithfully obedient to the Spirit of Christ and His divine schedule, and not be distracted by the noise around you.