Pausing with Purpose

             But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

As my husband marched off to an early spring rendezvous with his riding mower, I couldn’t help but reflect on his slow, almost stubborn, progression towards more healthy habits on the mower. The first year he put on a big straw hat to protect his skin from the sun. Next, he started wearing a mask to shield himself from dust and allergies. The mask was helpful, but he was still dealing with painful red eyes for two or three days, even with allergy drops. Finally, last year he started wearing goggles over his sunglasses to reduce allergens and dust in his eyes. As with most things it really comes down to choices, and for him, it was better to be miserable 6 or 7 hours wearing all the protective gear, than 72 hours sneezing, wheezing, and rubbing his eyes.

Government officials have put some safeguards in place to benefit and protect the American people. Schools, churches, sporting events, and gatherings of people, have been closed, suspended, postponed or pushed online for services. When we do venture out to the grocery there are varied levels of security. Some wear masks, others wear masks and gloves, and still others add disinfectant wipes to the fray. Then there are others who seem totally unconcerned, almost oblivious to the health concerns and dangers of the virus. Once again, it comes down to choices, but with freedom there is responsibility.

Isn’t it ironic that with America put on pause, we now have lots of time with our families? Can you recall the last time you spent this much time with your family? Maybe you live alone, are you spending more time connecting and checking on friends? This must be true because Skype has seen a 70% increase over last month. Just because we have hit the pause button, we do not have to stop being active and alive. In fact, this could be God’s way to reset your life, and perhaps, reset relationships that had been put on pause.

Schools are closed, and the home has become the classroom, and in turn, the kitchen table has become the school desk. For the last fifty years the call has been, “we need to put God back in the classroom”, well, now’s the time! This can be life changing for you and your children. Incorporating the Word of God, during the daily educating process, promotes the belief that God is relevant and real in all subjects, and not just on Sunday. This will require prayer and preparation before bringing the message to the kids. We have many wonderful and compassionate Christian teachers in the classrooms across America, but when parents share their love of Jesus with their kids the results are eternal. This kind of training takes higher education to an all new level!

People understand why we are social distancing, we are told a thousand times each day. We are fighting the invisible enemy! But some of us feel like we are hibernating in our homes. As we headed for the house, our paychecks didn’t come with us, and that makes for some very anxious moments. In our hearts, we trust God and know he will provide, He always has, He always will. But there are some things we should do to keep our hearts strong and our minds renewed, ready to serve God’s purpose.

I must admit, it’s easy to want to sleep in. Staring into a day of uncertainty can lead to some poor choices. That’s why it is so important to establish a healthy routine. I rise and shine early, because when the world takes away my classes at the Rec Center, we go online from home. So, I am up reading the word, praying and preparing to go live with my 8:30 class. Technology brings us together to exercise, worship and praise the Lord!

Within our private Facebook group, along with early morning live workouts, we include daily scriptures, prayers, and encouragement, so that all can keep moving, staying healthy, and strong. Perhaps you might start a group of your own, or send me a message, there’s room for you!

Another great way to remain positive, productive, and purposeful, is to take those back-burner projects and bring them forward to completion. Painting is one popular way to make a big change for a little bit of investment. It keeps you busy and changes the environment. It also puts smiles in all the rooms. Other folks are making face masks for our health care professionals, volunteering like soldiers charging after the invisible enemy.

Who would have believed a few weeks ago that churches would no longer be having congregational services? The devil thought he could break us down, but he was wrong! While I must admit at one time being skeptical about technology, God can use it for His glory and our good! We are now gathering together in front of our screens, singing along with the worship team, and listening to our Pastor bring a fresh Word from God. Not just us, but our entire church family is coming together to love the Lord. Online attendance is larger than it has ever been!

Do not be discouraged. Do not be afraid. God is calling us to attention. He is calling us back to Him. God is on the move in the hearts and homes of His people. He is teaching us to be alert, to be aware. He wants to be taken off the back burner and placed on the throne of our heart. Life is fleeting and very fragile. Let’s use this time to serve His divine purpose.

I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth. He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me. Psalm 121: 1-3

Theresa Rowe is the founder of Shaped by Faith, TV and Radio Host, Author and Motivational Wellness Speaker. Website, www.shapedbyfaith.com 

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