Monday Mind-Dump (5/4/20)

May 4, 2020  |  Luke Simmons

“How you holding up?”
• Feels like the main question I’m asking folks these days.
• Mostly getting some version of the same answer:
• “We’re hitting a wall.”
• “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.”
• “I think I’m getting cabin fever.”
• Me too.
• The novelty has officially, 100% worn off.
• Remember back when we were all posting pictures of our Zoom calls.
• Or setting up virtual happy hours?
• Ha!
• Not anymore — or at least not as much.
• I actually remember back in the beginning of March when I heard of a leader I know who had to be self-quarantined for 14 days after a trip to Germany.
• I remember telling Molly, “That actually sounds pretty great.”
• I guess I had been running hard at that point — and was fighting a cold.
• But still, I was wrong.
• I have it pretty great — but I’m still ready for a change.
• At dinner last night, I had kind of a “Dad moment,” where I addressed the family with something like:
• “Alright gang, I know that we’re all sick of this, but we have 13 more days until May 15. How are we going to get through the next two weeks without just griping and feeling sorry for ourselves.”
• Not sure we had amazing answers, but framing it like that seemed to help a bit.
• My strategy:
• (1) Spend as much time outside in the early part of the day as possible before things get hot.
• (2) Keep reading Dane Ortlund’s incredible book, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
• (3) Cook as much as possible — cooking is a fun, stress-relieving activity for me.
• (4) Pray for government leaders and public health officials — it increases my compassion for the difficult choices they have to make.
• (5) Keep watching The Last Dance, Peyton’s Places, and Seinfeld — television experiences that truly delight me.
• Would love to hear how you’d add to that list.
• One of the areas I feel a lot of tension is related to news consumption.
• On one hand, as a leader, I need to stay pretty informed about developments.
• On the other hand, as a person, I can end up pretty discouraged or cynical if I lean in too much.
• Not only are so many of the stories designed to make you afraid and panicky, but so many have also proven to just be flat-out wrong in terms of their predictions.
• I feel for journalists who are trying to report the best information they have and yet most of that information is, at best, guesses by the experts who are — like the rest of us — trying to figure things out as they go along.
• Not an easy job.
• In case you missed it, here’s our plan for resuming some kind of in-person gatherings.
• Yes, yes, I know that the Arizona Attorney General said that churches could continue to meet.
• We’ve known that from the beginning.
• Not for one second have I thought that we weren’t legally allowed to meet as a church.
• Rather, we’ve decided to submit to the guidelines and wisdom of public health officials.
• A church like ours is basically left with a choice:
• Choice #1: Go ahead and resume church services but with all sorts of social distancing policies — and make it where it’s such a lousy experience that few of our own people would even want to come.
• Choice #2: Go ahead and resume church services but with zero distancing protocols — in defiance of all wisdom from all public health officials, and provide yet another reason for our skeptical mission field to write off the church.
• I think our path forward is wiser.
• We’ll keep doing our best with online services and small groups, we’ll add some in-person experiences that don’t feel so weird with physical distance, and we’ll wait to resume in-person services until it’s both (a) wise and (b) a good experience.
• You may not agree, but perhaps this gives a bit more of the thought process.
• Seriously though… have you watched The Last Dance?
• Dang it’s good.
• Our family has also gotten quite a bit more into YouTube during this season (we don’t let our kids just watch YouTube on their own, but we’ve found some fun and interesting stuff).
• Some of my/our favorites: Some Good News, Mr. Tfue, Elevation’s “Rattle,” America’s Test Kitchen, and Explaining the Pandemic to My Past Self.
• I also loved the unity displayed in “The UK Blessing”
• God is still moving and we have a real hope.
• May he give us the endurance we need to keep honoring him as we wait for change, and may he protect those who are vulnerable in this season.
• Oh, one more thing…
• If you’ve made it this far, join me this Thursday at 7:30am (AZ time) for a prayer call — I think it will encourage you.
• Call (669) 900-6833‬, and enter the meeting ID 9053415957 or click here to use Zoom (audio only).
• Alright, thanks for reading.
• All of life is all for Jesus.