by Annwen Stone
I keep hearing the phrase “unprecedented times”. It’s not a phrase we are familiar with in the Western World. It’s something we usually align to things we have learnt in history lessons, things that my 99-year-old grandfather has lived through. I’m thinking about world wars, food rationing, the threat of a nuclear bomb… Yet here we are in “unprecedented times” in 2020 hoarding toilet paper and washing our hands like someone with the worst case of OCD. We have hit a kairos time in our lives that many of us have never had to face before. A time when in the shaking and the devastation of this evil virus the Kingdom of God wants to break in to get our attention. This is a Romans 8:28 time – the Father wants to turn for good that which was meant for evil.
Watching the news right now provokes fear and seeing the escalating death rate across the world is shocking, but as I have been confined to my home and had more time to reflect, I really do sense an invitation. It’s an invitation back to what’s important, to family, to home and ultimately an invitation back to the Father. I’ve received many invitations in my life. Invitations to parties, to weddings, to new relationships, to adventures, but being invited doesn’t mean that I attend, or even if I do, that I fully participate.
One of the meanings of invitation is:
“A situation or action that tempts someone to do something or makes a particular outcome likely.”
Something being likely only becomes definite if I am intentional, if I choose in. We could hunker down in the next few weeks, pray and hope for the best and watch a ton load of Netflix, OR we could embrace the break-in from the Father. Embrace the invitation to seek His face on what His priorities are. Embrace the invitation for our homes to be a place of His presence to repent from our ways, that even if unintentional, have placed sports, entertainment and consumerism above him. We could spend time with our children so they know more deeply than ever before how loved and precious they are, we could build friendship in our marriages so that we laugh together not because someone else is entertaining us but because we genuinely know deep joy in our connection.
We have an invitation right now to let go of the things in our lives that were only ever meant to be peripheral and became central. Someone we disciple last night called it a ‘reset’. I liked that. It’s like in the chaos and the fear, the invitation to us all is for a giant global reset.
I’m going to choose in to the solitude, the invitation to realignment and to host love over fear.
What are you going to do?