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The most important boundary!8 months ago
Resource Trustee Kate King helps us re-align with the importance of prioritising and protecting our relationship with God. In the midst of the pandemic and life’s chaos, Kate reminds us that we have God’s permission and invitation to spend time with Him!
So new uncertainty is upon us. Greater restrictions. Overwhelming talk of a timescale of six months. Guidance that changes daily. Competing priorities (‘Online’ or ‘In Real Life’). Differing values and expectations. Differing interpretations and rationales.
Furlough has ended for many yet we are once again being asked to work from home. There are so many conflicting messages, contradictions and tensions. It is exhausting. The impending mental health crisis feels, to me, as if it has suddenly dramatically accelerated.
How are we going to cope? Better still, how are we going to thrive?
It is so true that where there is crisis there is opportunity. In the creation story, Holy Spirit was hovering over chaos! This in itself can be overwhelming. It seems now, more than ever, we need to be setting ourselves healthy boundaries. Separating life and work when based at home. Stepping back from that person that really doesn’t know how far a metre is. Knowing when to say ‘I’ve done enough’ and prioritising self-care. As the saying goes, “you cannot pour from an empty cup”. We all know this truth – but it is easier to say than to act upon.
What boundaries do we need to put in place… whilst remaining agile in a time of dynamic change and uncertainty? It’s quite a tension. How can we sustain clear boundaries and remain flexible? Political and organisational guidance and social expectation are changing almost daily. Our God is on the move. How can we best respond without burning out?
It starts with God.
We all know this, I realise. But, how well do we really permit ourselves to spend time in his presence? Throughout lockdown, my faith has dramatically grown. I have found myself in corporate and private prayer almost constantly. God has equipped me in ways I couldn’t have asked or imagined (as the prayer goes!). He has nurtured the most amazing fellowship and given incredible pictures and words to so many. He has given me a clarity about my calling. Nevertheless, I am conscious I frequently feel guilty, if I take time out with Him. What is that about? Even Jesus took 40 days to go and be with the Father – he who performed miraculous healing as he walked by the touch of his hem!
You have God’s permission. You have his invitation.
For those of you who feel that you have huge expectations on your shoulders I want to share what God has reminded, even convicted, me of. The first boundary that we must put is a beautiful one around time with Him.
For those who are weary and overwhelmed we know “those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NRSV).
But if we are renewed and we can run, how do we know which way to go? Paul’s letter to the Romans reminds us not to “be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 NRSV)
In prioritising and protecting our relationship with God, held in his embrace and renewed by Holy Spirit we shall be refreshed, restored and redirected. He goes with us and we go in His power.
This is my constant prayer, for me and for you.