People are processing change. Some are being forced into it after the ground collapsed beneath their feet. These people are courageously stepping into new frontiers because they must. There will be grace for these people to discover a new world. The sun will rise again. These people are responding from strength.
There is another company of people, however, whose souls are thirsting for transition. The ground is still technically beneath them, but they are unsettled and itching to escape their current life. These people are aimlessly cutting ties and jumping off ledges into frontiers that promise them nothing, while their previous loyalties lay behind them in premature death. These people are reacting from weakness.
We are all facing change. How do we know whether we are responding or reacting? How do we know if we are being courageous or aimless? Finding focus or losing it?
Here is my attempt to provide a filter, a conversation, a knock on this moment in time …
What is motivating you to pursue change? Is it God’s voice or is it your restless heart? Who initiated the conversation? Who is continuing it? Does change give you an escape from a challenge, or does it call you into a challenge? Is this a new idea or an old idea for you?
You and I do not understand the impact that the societal unrest is having on us. We may feel it, but we don’t understand how it is informing our mental health and relationships. Months of isolation have left people in a pit of negativity about other people that is largely detached from reality. Relationships, organizations, churches and businesses are disintegrating as a result.
But, do they have to?
No. They do not have to.
Our commitments, loyalties, and friendships can find glorious days.
If, we don’t quit on them.
Presently they take more work.
Are you willing? Am I?
Ever admire someone who maintained a friendship for twenty years? Ever marvel at someone who attended the same prayer meeting for a decade? Ever meet someone who was part of a church plant team, and is still there years later? Granted, there are times to jump – depart - put up the sail – and GO! If that’s you, this piece is not for you. My hope is that you are already far out into the sea. But for many, this is not the time to set sail. On the contrary, this is the time to exert the hard work of remaining anchored.
There is a temptation right now to absorb the restlessness of the season and use it as an excuse to cut off commitments and loyalties that God has called us to maintain. People are choosing to pull up their anchors without realizing that they are voluntarily abandoning the very thing that God gave them to remain steady during this storm. Anchors will not be as easily found in the coming days as they once were. The sea of society will gleefully host this floating movement of renegades as they abandon their anchors now. However, these ships will likely still be floating aimlessly - looking for their “new shiny anchor” - years from now while their previous landing place hosts a hole that belongs to them.
I think there is a danger right now for people to abandon loyalties and call it courage, to take flight in the name of feeling "restless." The cultural unrest is providing free excuses to abandon people and things, no longer see them, and only engage with them through plexiglass and face masks, somehow massaging selfish ambition that laughs at the work of a long-loyalty in the same direction.
There are pressures of unrest all around us. This does not mean we have to become people of unrest. The bull is raging. This does not mean that we have to mount it. Some of us are mounting a raging bull, being flung around with uncertainty, even though the bull never asked us to ride it. “The raging bull was too much of a distraction,” we say, “so I gave into it and mounted!” The moment we react to the chaos, we are now being led by the chaos instead of by God.
The call in this time is to remain steady, rooted in God. We are called to be people of strength and maturity who are found with their anchors intact, who are still committed to the same people when the storm ends, who refuse to blame others for their own heart’s needs, and who understand that if you keep your land now then you will have something to plant on later.
Friends, do not forfeit your call.
Do not give up a good job.
Do not distance your heart from your friends, fight for your friendships!
Do not abandon your church.
Do not walk out on your community.
Most importantly, do not give up your life of submission to God’s voice.
If He is moving you, He can make that clear.
If it is not clear, you are likely being moved by something that you would say is not your God.
Simple faith, simple obedience, and passionate love work exactly the same in a storm as they do in the sun. Hang on. Don’t react. Respond.
Resist the renegade movement.
Katie Luse is a speaker and writer who is passionate about navigating life with eyes on a hunt for beauty.