In mid-February of this year, we experienced a winter storm that kept everyone at home for almost the whole week. This hasn’t happened in a while, especially in the South and especially in Mississippi. Normally, when snow is forecast, most people are so excited because it is so rare and only lasts for a day or so. But this time, the snow stuck around and brought along with it sleet and freezing rain and frigid temperatures to make traveling on the roadways treacherous. Eerily, that week felt like many weeks and months in 2020, a year that everyone was so glad to see leave. So, just like 2020, I was so glad when that week was over. However, there were still some perilous things to overcome in the aftermath, like the restoration of power and water. For the South Jackson area, both power and water went out for days. The power was restored first, but not the water. Water is vital to everything we functionally do as humans. So, we prayed very earnestly that the water outages would end and that the resulting burst pipes from the hard freeze would be repaired quickly. It was an experience!
Now, for the topic at hand, allow me to elaborate on what we have been experiencing as of late around the nation. People have been resigning from jobs, from organizations, from ministries, from church, and from old ways of life. While it has been a bit disheartening, I think I understand a little bit why. One thing it could be is the harrowing year of 2020. Everyone was forced to pause and see the state of their personal lives, their families, their relationships, their jobs, their health, their religion/church, their finances, entertainment, the government, the nation, the world, the injustices, the disparities, and so much more. We were able to see more things as they really are with ironically, 2020 vision. We were made aware of our realities not only with our eyes, but with our hearts, our minds, our spirits, and our bodies. We were challenged, to say the least. We were humbled.
At times, 2020 was paralyzing. Fear seemed to reign with many fighting to remain hopeful. I know I did. It was a fight and even now, still is. So, it seems understandable that many of us are seeking something different or trying or wanting to try something completely new. Then, it could also be an age thing. When we reach certain life stages, especially mid life stages, the tendency of most is to have a restart in life before the years progress any further.
I believe I understand. I too have been feeling that way. I too have been searching for what’s next, for something new. But I am not resigning. Well, maybe I am a little bit from some things. My goal is to move forward in this new emerging paradigm with the gifts that God has allotted to me. (I hope this is all of our goal.) What that looks like exactly I am not sure. But I am not resigning from ministry but rather launching out into the unknown to fulfill my purpose; looking for the new and more innovative ways to do what He is called me to do. So far, what has been revealed to me goes against my personality to date. But with much prayer and with these Scriptures in mind (Luke 9:23, Psalm 90:12; Romans 12:21; Micah 6:8; and many, many more), I am straining ahead despite the grief of resignations.
Philippians 3:7–14 (NIV)
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is
more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ
Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I
may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that
comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that
comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the
power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his
death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I
press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and
sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward
the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I see resignations different now. Resignations are new beginnings, new assignments, new opportunities, new relationships, new disciples, ... I don’t know, but I am trusting God and the Spirit of power, love, and sound mind/self-discipline that He has given us, aiming in no way to succumb to the spirit of fear (of the unknown). God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipresent (for the math people, omni-cubed). God is infinite. God is eternal. He is already in our future. I trust Him to guide us into it for His glory.
The fact that we are still alive suggests that God has more for us. What that "more" is may vary from person to person, but thankfully there is more. There is more to do, more to discover, more to experience, more to solve or resolve, more to enjoy, more to create, ... just more. So, if you have found yourself, like myself, searching or trying to start anew and afresh, we are in good company it seems with many others.