Stories are wonderful things because we can learn so much from them, we can get insights into various situations and people’s lives through them. Stories can even inspire, challenge, comfort, surprise, horrify, encourage or even help us dream. Stories can invoke a whole range of emotions, they allow us to create imaginary worlds, galaxies and creatures.
I wonder, what is your favourite story? What’s the best book you have ever read or story you have ever heard? What book or story has inspired or challenged you to think or act differently?
For me growing up I loved the Roald Dahl books, they transported me to a whole different world. They gave me a chance to escape this world into the imaginary, even if only for a short while. And I wonder with all that is going on around us at the moment, how many of us wish we could be transported to a different time or a different world. I wonder… how many of us currently feel like we have been transported into a whole new world right now – A world that may feel uncomfortable, scary or uncertain. Perhaps for many, this new world is like nothing they ever thought possible, perhaps it may feel like the stories told in the End Of The World-type movies. But, what if, in the midst of this new world there wasn’t just boredom, there wasn’t just the day to day tasks of trying to keep the kids settled and home-schooled whilst trying to juggle work, study, quiet time with God and church online etc. What if, in the midst of this new world (the current situation we find ourselves in due to COVID-19), a world that is seemingly beginning to feel the ever-increasing pressures of staying home, of the need to keep up to date with the latest news, the urge to endlessly scroll social media for hours on end and then there’s the pressure to download the latest apps and having to adapt and get to grips with the ever-changing technology.
In this world that we find ourselves within we might be able to relate to some of the feelings that young people in the video share. Perhaps we are bored or beginning to feel lazy and tired. Perhaps we are just wishing and praying for normality to resume. Perhaps we are longing for God’s Kingdom to come -and that’s ok.
I want you to know that regardless of how we may feel, be that positively or negatively, or whether we are really struggling with our feelings and emotions right now, that there is a light not only at the end of the tunnel but in the midst of this uncertain and strange time with us. We find ourselves currently in a new chapter for the world. But in this new chapter, we have the reassurance that God is with us, God has not deserted us. We know this because His Word tells us, it reminds us that he will also be with us and that wherever we are gathered He is also there:
‘For where two or more are gathered in my name, I am there among them’Matthew 18:20
‘…and remember I am with you always, to the end of the age’Matthew 28:20
I believe that he is with us even when we are online, when we are zooming, when we are watching our church service live on Facebook or streaming church online, when we are praying on our own, on screen, with family, whilst out in our backyards, gardens or for our daily walks/ commutes. And so let us keep running this race of life, this race of following Jesus to the best of our abilities, whether we feel up for it on a daily basis or not let us run, walk, hop, skip or crawl forward if needed to ensure that each day we are following Jesus. So let us keep praying, keep worshipping, keep reading scripture and as Paul wrote:
‘…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.’Hebrews 12:1-2