Today is a day of mixed emotions. Our nation awakens to dire projections of this virus, grappling with what that means. It is also our official “launch day” for the American Awakening. We’ve been working at this for over 18 months and it seems providential that much of what we have been praying for revolves around helping lonely, isolated, broken people find the “life that is truly life.” However you’re feeling today, we want you to know that there’s a crew of folks leaning into the deep spiritual work we so need in this time. We hope you’ll join us. Take a quick look at our launch video here.
We’ve been doing daily devotionals and prayer for the entirety of our planning time – and launched this daily devotional a week or so ago. Today is no different. We press on and lean in to God. So here’s a few thoughts for today- we call it your Daily Dose:
This year I started using a new planner, Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. It’s great, really. It has helped me tremendously. Surprisingly, I think it’s become even more important in the changing world of the Coronavirus shutdowns.
It’s almost a certainty, whether you know it or not, that you’re a leader in some kind of way. Because of that, as we start another week it would be easy, and understandable, to begin with a focus on what we have coming up. To jump into planning our week and laying out all the stuff we need to get done, starting with the most important and working down. We feel that as a team of driven people trying to get something out into the world. But as God has done with me so many times, he is constantly redefining what I think is best in unexpected ways.
You see, when Jesus is asked about the most important stuff in life, it’s not just that he says “love God and love people,” it’s that the whole thing is not focused on me. The principles that lead us to our best life, in the upside ways of God, actually focus our attention away from ourselves. They shift our focus onto God and onto the “others” in our lives. In the ultimate beautiful irony, the key to finding our own life that is truly life – to living in wholeness, purpose, freedom, joy and togetherness – is to get our focus off ourselves.
So on this Monday, let’s turn our focus first to God. Take a moment to thank Him for the breath in your lungs, the fact that the sun rose today and for a few small gifts in your life – perhaps the coffee you’re drinking, the friend or spouse near you as you read this, a bird singing outside. Let’s ask God how He wants our week to unfold, before we tell Him how we are going to run our lives this week.
And let’s turn to the “others” in our life. Who do we need to love well this week? Who needs a text of encouragement and thanks right now? Who can I connect with this week to catch up on life? Does anyone need anything that I can help with this week? How can I love well this week?
It’s not that planning our week is bad. I’d be a trainwreck if I didn’t plan. But it’s a terrible way to start the week – to center the week ahead – focused primarily on ourselves. Paradoxically and beautifully, I promise you, in focusing away from ourselves and onto God and others, we will find peace for the week ahead. Let’s do this!
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Joel & Jeff