Churches and other organizations are struggling with their sense of purpose; individuals (clergy and others) are questioning their vocations. We are all asking questions about who we are NOW, as well as whether we really like who we are NOW.
It’s as if we’re all collectively sighing and asking if this is it, or as Dante’s protagonist quipped “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark for the straightforward pathway had been lost.”
In other words… welcome to our shared mid-life crisis (of sorts).
Now, if this were truly a mid-life crisis (of sorts) we might consider working through the experience with a good therapist. We’d be invited to talk about our disappointments surrounding our lives and our response to it. Perhaps we’d grieve a bit together about relationships lost and plans set aside. We’d talk through our anxiety and concern about what life is like now – collectively, and individually – because grief isn’t something you find a path around. Eventually, we’d have worked through the box of Kleenex and we’d sit up a bit straighter and begin the work of “what comes next”.
What does come next? I’m not asking when you’re reopening the buildings, or what your ratio of people to hand sanitizer looks like… I’m asking what future God is calling you to build. How has this season changed you, changed your organization, changed your community?
How we have reacted to this season says much about us as individuals, and as a church. What we do next will speak volumes about our priorities as well as our understanding of purpose.