Together We Can Win
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
This year, some of us probably feel like we have been in the fight of our lives. We have been in an economic, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual fight. These battles have caused a range of emotions, including anger, sadness, and frustration. I believe that together, we can win the fight against Rona if we find and embrace our inner ReRe. Which one do you need to embrace -- 1) Refresh and Rejuvenate, 2) Reimagine and Rethink, 3) Reconnect and Reestablish, 4) Reclaim and Renew, 5) Release and Reset, 6) Respect and Rebuild or 7) Repent and Rededicate?
ReRe #1: Refresh and Rejuvenate.
If some of you are honest with yourself, before Rona shut everything down, you may have been working too much, traveling too much, hustling too much, or away from home too much. You were doing too much, too fast, and possibly running yourself into a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual breakdown. The Lord probably knew that you would not rest unless He forced you to slow down. We can only run off adrenaline and fumes for so long. Eventually our tanks and our cups will become empty. Maybe it is time for you to rest, get refreshed, and rejuvenate so you can be ready to run the next leg of this race. Rona may not leave until you sit down, so be still and get refreshed.
ReRe #2: Reimagine and Rethink.
Over the past few months, life as we have known it has changed. In March, schools were abruptly shut down, and now there is much debate as to whether schools should reopen or what they will look like. Schools should look at other industries that have decided to reimagine what their industries look like.
Many churches, including my own, have already started “rethinking” the concept of church. Instead of resisting this new online world that we were forced to join, our church has embraced it and tried to figure out how we can maximize this new platform. Instead of limiting our concept of church to people attending worship service in a physical building, we have reimagined what church looks like and reminded ourselves that church is the body of believers and not the physical structure. As a result, our church has expanded our impact by reaching people in other states and countries who may never step foot into our physical building.
Instead of mourning what gets lost when we do things different than the way they have always been done, let us think about what this new opportunity presents. What can school look like during these complex times? We should use this time to reimagine the traditional school because the traditional way was not effectively servicing all students. Students have different learning styles and perhaps Rona has forced us to think outside the box and not limit ourselves to the way things have always been done. Moreover, part of the reimagining process is realizing that teachers are not the only ones responsible for children learning. It is a shared responsibility, and we must all examine all roles and responsibilities – student, parent, businesses, government, churches, as well as civic and social organizations. How can we all work together to ensure that students have a safe and successful school year, whether inside a physical school building or not?
Let’s also reimagine the office. Google announced that its employees can work remotely till summer 2021. Are there more businesses that could offer this flexibility? Let's reimagine schools and businesses so that we have institutions that support strong families and thus, collectively we are better able to win the war against Rona.
ReRe #3: Reconnect and Reestablish
During the past few months, most people have been forced to spend more time at home with their immediate family. Some families have adjusted to this better than others. Many people had not been used to spending much time with their spouses and kids, and Rona forced us to reconnect with our families. Some of us might have been living in the same house but not actually spending time with one another. Everybody has their own busy schedule, but many of us now have time to try to reconnect with one another, whether it is by cooking more, having dinner together as a family, having family game night, watching movies together or worshiping together. Before Rona showed up, my family rarely got to worship at church together. We volunteer in different ministries at church that caused us to occasionally attend different services. As a result, we did not always get to sit in the sanctuary and worship together as a family. These past few months, we have been able to worship together as a family every Sunday in our living room. For me this has been a wonderful gift. In addition to worshiping together, we are reconnecting in other ways. My husband and the boys are playing ping pong, and my daughter and I are going on walks. As we get reconnected, we can reestablish our commitment to one another and our priorities so that we are a stronger and more unified family.
ReRe #4: Reclaim and Renew
Sometimes in the busyness of life, we might lose some things along the journey. We might feel like we are losing ourselves. We lose our compass, our focus, our why, or our directions. We end up doing or saying things that we know go against our core values or doing things that go against our original life plans.
For some of us, one day, we wake up and realize that we have allowed life to steal our joy, our peace, our happiness, and our contentment. We have allowed the world to define success and happiness for us so we ended up with a lot of material things that society told us would bring us joy, but we still find ourselves empty. Maybe we need to reclaim our authentic selves – the person who has been hiding in that corner office, at that prestigious job, behind that impressive title, in that luxury car, eating at that trendy restaurant, or living in that gigantic house. Rona came and tried to take it all away and now you do not know what to do. You feel lost because while you were climbing that ladder, you may have lost part of who you really are. Now, you have time to reclaim your authentic self. You have time to renew your vision for your life. You have time to go before the Lord and renew your mind. You have time to ask the Lord to renew your faith and your strength, so that you no longer rely on your strength but depend totally and completely on the Lord.
ReRe #5: Release and Reset
Did you take some things into 2020 that should have been left in 2019? If you brought some old pain, grudges, unforgiveness, bad habits, jealousy, pride, insecurity or other baggage, then maybe you need to ask the Lord to help you release those items so they can stop weighing you down. You will not be mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually strong enough to fight Rona if you are weighted down with burdens and baggage. It is time to let it go. God wants us to forgive others like He forgives us. He wants us to allow Him to heal our broken hearts. He wants us to develop better habits. He wants us to celebrate other people's victories. He wants us to humbly seek to do His will and not only try to pursue our plans.
After we release the things of the past, we are ready to push the restart button. Even though some people in our lives might remember our past or who we used to be, God is able and willing to give us a fresh start so we can walk boldly and confidently into the life He designed for us.
ReRe #6: Respect and Rebuild
There is no doubt that we are living in perilous times, and we are seeing more and more that tomorrow is not promised to us nor to the people we love. As we begin to come to grips with our mortality, I hope that we will gain a deeper respect for the value of life, not just our life but also the lives of our fellow citizens. May we resist the urge to highlight our differences and instead try to find our common ground. May we all remember that we are our neighbors’ keeper. Our fellow citizens are not the enemy. Rona is the enemy, and to fight Rona, we must act in solidarity. Hence, I implore all of us to start demonstrating more respect for one another by following the CDC guidelines of wearing a mask, washing our hands, and social distancing. As Rona seeks to divide our country, strain our healthcare system, and destroy our economy, may we choose to unite, respect, and rebuild. May we unite as one country that respects and values ALL citizens and is committed to safely rebuilding our economy and our communities.
ReRe #7: Repent and Rededicate
The number 7 is supposed to represent completion, so Team ReRe would not be complete without the seventh ReRe which is Repent and Rededicate. As Rona continues to try to turn our society upside down, we need to pause and reflect and ask ourselves?
Have we said or done some things that are not pleasing to the Lord?
Have we engaged in activities that do not give Him glory?
Is there some jealousy, unforgiveness, malice, resentment, deceitfulness, dishonesty, or pride in our hearts that we need to ask God to remove?
Have we placed other "gods" (job, relationships, children, sports, entertainment, physical fitness...) before the one true God?
If we answered “Yes” to any of those questions, then we need to repent and rededicate our lives to the Lord.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Bible says,
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
In this verse, the Lord gives us instructions on what we need to do. We need to 1) humble ourselves, 2) pray, and 3) seek His face. If we do not follow God’s instructions, sometimes the Lord will take things away from us, and He will put us in a position where we are humbled. Many of us find ourselves in a humbled position right now, and thanks to Rona, we no longer have as many commitments on our schedule, so we cannot use the excuse that we are too busy to pray.
When we turn on the television or scroll on our cell phones, it can be tempting to be overcome by the negativity. However, if we open our Bibles, we can be overcome by the good news that God loves us. Even though God may have allowed some things to happen so He could get our attention, He is still a loving, patient, forgiving, and compassionate God. Even though we may feel that Rona has destroyed many of our hopes and dreams, Rona is not as powerful as God. God is able to restore everything Rona tried to steal from us. Right now, you might think you are behind schedule on achieving your dreams because Rona put a pause on your plans, but there is no need to worry. You are experiencing a delay and not a denial. Even though we may have ignored the early warning signs from God, when He tried to get us to repent, there is no need for us to feel ashamed or feel that God is mad at us. God still wants what is best for us. If God gave you a goal or a dream, you can still fulfill that dream. If God started you on a journey, He will be with you until you finish. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” It may take you a little longer to fulfill your dream because maybe God had to press pause so you could reflect, repent, reevaluate, and rededicate yourself to Him, but He will keep His promise. We must be patient and trust His timing because II Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Do not lose hope in your dreams. We just need to repent and rededicate ourselves to Christ. God keeps His promises. We just need to keep our promise to Him. We need to put Him first and try to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Channel Your Inner ReRe
Did you find an inner ReRe that you can channel? We all need to find at least one so that together, we can let Rona know that she is not welcome in our homes, schools, offices, or communities. I have already started finding my inner ReRe, and she helped me write a book. I am using my Reclaim and Renew persona to help fight Rona because life events tried to steal my joy, peace, and self-confidence, but God helped me reclaim and renew. Perhaps you have lost some things during the pandemic or during other difficult periods in your life that you want to reclaim. If so, I encourage you to consider pre-ordering a copy of my forthcoming book, Look Up, Step Up, and Soar: Lessons of Hope, Restoration, and Transformation for Life’s Journey. One of the chapters in the book is entitled Reclaim Your Lost Bags. The last chapter is Renew Your Passport because I have learned that getting renewed is not a one-time event. Life is full of difficult situations, and we must constantly renew our strength and our minds. Many of us may have never experienced anything as severe as Rona, but we have and will continue to face other difficult situations, so we need to be prepared and have a system for renewing our strength and our minds. Read about other lessons I have learned along my life’s journey. Be one of the first to get your copy of my forthcoming book. Pre-order at www.soar2bmore.com/book.