Crisis often comes into our lives when we are least expecting them; however, we can seize the opportunity and turn our most difficult moments into our best.
It may be a challenging time for you right now, and it may get even more challenging as we face the many difficulties impacting our lives: from job loss, debilitating sickness, homelessness to wars, pandemic, epidemics; deaths of hundreds, deaths of thousands and death of loved ones. But, despite these difficult times, it is my hope and my belief that we can be better together. Wherever the crisis is, what i’ve learned is that crisis can bring opportunity. I will share three essential opportunities that often appear during crisis. In sharing, the anticipation is that you seize opportunities that crisis bring.
“In the middle of crisis we don’t call police to look for who is right or wrong, we call the ambulance to take care of the wounded, to take care of the calamity that we have experience.“TD Jakes
Opportunity # 1: Crisis, when they happen, give us an opportunity to be better together.
Recently I was in a zoom conference call with a friend; during the call, my friend was hopeful amidst the crisis we were facing, and I asked her, “why are you so optimistic?” My friend responded, “Liminality and Communitas” what does that mean? Liminality and commuitas are expressions that are used when people from unlikely backgrounds go through some ordeal together. The trial is the liminality that they are going through; the bond that they form after they get out of that difficult journey is called communitas. I believe that the global crisis we face during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and gives us an opportunity to be better together on this road: in our families, communities, as a country, in America, or wherever you are, then globally.
I want to make a point that can help us seize the opportunity to be better together, which is, It is not wise or prudent to point fingers in the middle of a crisis, actually I think it is quite foolish to point fingers in the middle of a crisis. I draw form an experience shared by The Reverend T. D. Jakes, famous pastor in America, who at a time in his life came upon an accident. He mentioned that after watching the car accident for some time he came out of his car and he asked a gentleman there, “Do you need me to call the police?” He said the man looked at hm and said, “police! I don’t need you to call the police, I need you to call the ambulance”.
Reverend Jakes said he learned something in that moment, that in the middle of crisis we don’t call police to look for who is right or wrong, we call the ambulance to take care of the wounded, to take care of the calamity that we have experience. We also can learn that in the midst of crisis we don’t look to point fingers. We will have room to do that after we have overcome the crisis and I am pretty sure that when we overcome a crisis and we look for where or whose fault it is we are going to see that there is enough blame to go around. So in the heart of crisis we know this, Crisis gives us an opportunity to be better together rather than point fingers in the middle of a crisis.
Opportunity # 2: Crisis gives us an opportunity to examine our foundation.
Jesus told a fantastic story that many of us have heard before. It is the story of a wise and foolish builder. In the story, the wise builder builds his house on a solid foundation, but the foolish builder builds his house on the sand; when the wind came and the storms came, the house built on sand did not last. Was it the storm that caused the house to fall, or was it the foundation? When we examine the story closely, you will see it was not the storm that caused the house to fall; it was truly because the foundation was faulty. This brings us to this observation about crisis; Crisis when they happen, they reveal the content of one’s foundation, but the crisis allows us also to examine our foundation and assess how strong our foundation is. No matter how challenging, crisis gives us an opportunity to examine and strengthen our foundation.
When Jesus talked about foundations, what he was really gearing his audience for, was to build his life on the foundation of his teachings. When we set our foundation on Christ, it causes us to let go of things we thought were important, for something that is even more important: the building of his Kingdom, the building of our communities, the building of our societies, our families, our relationships.
Opportunity # 3: Crisis gives us the opportunity to embrace humility.
The Old Testament prophet Isaiah, in his Book Isaiah Chapter 2:22, was telling his audience to stop trusting just mere humans who had but a breath in their nostrils. In the same verse, he asked, “why hold humans with such high esteem? In reflecting on verse, I began to think about the Crisis that we face, the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic particularly. After just six weeks of the Pandemic, we built as humans: our economy, our structures, we literarily witness everything just folded, much like a napkin, so pliable, easily folded. We saw just how frail the things we have built. So we see that Crisis gives us the opportunity to embrace humility” As humans, we’ve had opportunities to see with our own eyes the frailty of our systems and, therefore, to put our trust in God; this is a humbling experience. Cry out to God, pray for your neighbors, pray for your friends, and entertain a heart of humility through this crisis. Bless you.