Recently, I was asked by Unicity* to speak to city leaders on leading beyond the storm. My reflex response was that we must first lead ourselves before we can lead others. At this time, the stakes have never been higher for leadership and those we lead, the missions we advance. Remember when David was facing the atrocities of battle in the final chapter of I Samuel? The Word says that he strengthened himself in the Lord. Another translation says he encouraged himself in the Lord. He sought God, prayed and got direction for what to do next. I believe that is a model to us and our foremost most responsibility.
Second, I have found that gratitude is a buffer against anxiety, fear and depression. In the first couple of weeks I was confronted with the reality that our organization and the livelihood of our employees could vanish within the first month of shelter in place. As a nonprofit organization, we do not have a large reserve or endowment fund. Immediately, giving dropped off and our largest fundraising event was canceled. Gratitude for my team, God‘s faithfulness and His provision lifted me out of heaviness, so that I could see clearly the steps I need to take.
Third, when I saw the before and after pollution pictures on the internet of places like the Himalayas, New Delhi, India, Venice, and Los Angeles, I was stunned by the distinction. In just a few weeks, pollution had dissipated and extraordinary beauty was revealed, I thought about how we too are part of God‘s creation. I wondered how much pollution was being lifted off my own soul as so much busyness and many cares of the world ground to a halt.
I thought about how the pollution of busyness clouded time with loved ones and can even cloud my vision. This made me stop and reflect on what I would say yes and no to when some semblance of “normalcy” returned. As we entered 2020, I had expressed to my team that we must slowdown in order to speed up. I have shifted my mindset to see this time as a true treasure to reorder, reprioritize, and truly be intentional about what I would say yes to again. I believe this time will prove to be an invaluable gift. I challenge you to also identify what you will say yes and no to as shelter in place continues to lift.
In these times of uncertainty with even more uncertainty ahead, we are susceptible to being taken out by an enemy who seeks to destroy us and our work meant to glorify Him. The way the enemy comes at me is often with lies of inadequacy or incompetency. As I have prayed and pressed into God, His reply has been: “I am your sufficiency.”
He is enough. II Corinthians 3:5 says He is our sufficiency. That we are not sufficient in and of ourselves. In the Greek, the word sufficiency literally means ability or competency. This word gives me great comfort that I can put all of my confidence in Him, His faithfulness and His word and not confidence in myself. I’m not sure what lies you may battle, but I urge to take rest and courage in His sufficiency. We must press on with fortitude to steward the work that has been entrusted to our hands. The time is now. Our actions today will reform the world we live in – may it be a brighter, kinder place of hope.
*Unicity is a catalyst for hope to unite the Mission City: Uniting people, ideas, and resources to serve the San Antonio community.