The past month or so has been an emotional whirlwind for the entire world, myself included. I launched a young adult men's pickup basketball network that was taking off and on the verge of evolving into a full-fledged league. I was planning on leading a team of Chapel people on a mission trip to Colombia. I was getting ready to launch future "Coffee on Campus" ministries at new colleges and universities. On a personal note, I was counting down the days until I flew to Greece for my Summer honeymoon. And in the blink of an eye, it was all wiped out. Postponed. Canceled. Delayed. It seemed like the entire world was coming to a halt and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
While I'm thankful for the opportunity to work from home, I am quick to admit that I miss seeing all of my friends and family. I miss chatting with members of the congregation on Sunday mornings. I miss collaborating with Chapel staff on new ministry ideas and initiatives. And on top of all of that, I miss little things like grabbing impromptu lunches at Kenko Sushi with my dear friend Paul Klouse. As I adjust to the "new normal" along with everyone else, I can't help but reflect on what God might be showing me in this current season.
When life slows down, we are handed golden opportunities to begin putting things in perspective. With so many distractions stripped away as I become seemingly nestled in my small cozy apartment, the days blur together and my mind engages in thoughtful self-reflection. Since I am no longer constantly on the run, I have this new space to begin asking myself honest questions: How am I doing as a follower of Christ? How am I doing as a husband, son, brother, and friend? Sometimes my heart aches because of how deeply I love the people in my life, but right now it feels like I can't even express that affection in the ways that I want.
Throughout the past few weeks, God has revealed to me the depths of my capacity to love. Since I no longer have the excuse of being "on the go" and running through life at 100mph, I am using this season to quiet my racing heart and gently ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes. Lord, who do you want me to love? Who do you want me to forgive? Who in my life desperately needs your grace right now? And if I'm being completely honest, these reflections sometimes expose the stains of pride, anger, and bitterness in my selfish heart.
With those realizations, however, I am reminded in brand new ways that the Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love. And because of God's overwhelming love, we have reason to be hopeful. We have fresh opportunities to repent of our past ways and choose grace over hatred. We have the chance to recalibrate our hearts and persevere through the dreary days in order to pursue deeper intimacy with the Father. Perhaps most importantly, though, we have the option to become people who are not just Spirit-filled, but also Spirit-led.