Incubator for the Soul

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Convention of New England’s blog on April 3, 2020. You can find it here.)

“To every person there comes in their lifetime that special moment when you are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to you and your talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds you unprepared or unqualified for work which could have been your finest hour.”

(Winston Churchill)

Ten minutes steeped in news about COVID-19 is enough to spiral my heart right out of solid footing, hurling me headlong into uncertainty. A bizarre and heartbreaking quality has tinged our world this past few weeks. We’ve had to adapt to a new normal almost overnight, learning to operate at a distance for the well-being of the community. Goodness knows periods of isolation can cause significant stress, but I’d like to submit an alternate perspective: what if this time shut inside could be one of the single greatest instances of potential for kingdom empowerment we’ve seen in this generation?

Spinning the kaleidoscope a bit, vivid color creates an entirely new pattern to behold. We can view this season of quarantine as one more thing to survive or as an incubator for the soul. What if every believer set a goal to emerge from this crisis more prepared for gospel fruitfulness than we were upon entry? God has ordained certain rhythms to mark life in His kingdom, stewardship among them. We’ve been granted opportunity in this place at this time for a reason, and one day we’ll give an account for how we leveraged it.

Here are a few strategies to begin making the most of our present situation:

  • If you’ve considered spiritual disciplines (e.g., sabbath, prayer, Bible study, worship, etc.) simply a nice idea in the past, start implementing at least one this week and build from there. 
  • Plan a day to evaluate where you are spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally and what you need in order to become healthier in each aspect.
  • Figure out what God’s call on your life looks like specifically. What hole were you designed to fill?*
  • Identify unnecessary drains and remove as many of them as possible so that your energy can be wholly devoted to pursuing that call. (If you have no idea where to begin, try limiting the endless drone of news and social media.)
  • Beef up your reading list, especially in areas that tend to hold you back: time management, soul care, emotional baggage, finances. 
  • Take advantage of online learning opportunities, particularly basic counseling courses; the need for solid comfort will be overwhelming when this storm has passed. 
  • Find an accountability partner if you don’t already have one. Share your goals and struggles for this season and practice safe community together. 
  • Rest deeply and intentionally in the loving care of the Father on a daily basis.  

In the midst of devastation, we can choose to grow, determining to prepare for our finest hour by wisely making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:15-16). God is still redeeming piles of ash from the inside, and He’s not finished with us yet.   

*Interested in delving deeper into this topic? Pick up Will Mancini’s Younique book; it’s a game changer. 

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