The importance of having routine in your life

I met with a young friend last week who asked me about the intentionality he saw in my life. He wanted to hear how I went about living a life of faith in God which led to this blog post. Two things came to mind.

1) When Guillain Barre Syndrome https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/guillain-barre-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20362793 left me paralyzed, God made Himself present in so many ways. I shared how my illness and subsequent recovery deepened my faith by making it so much more real for me. If you haven’t already, you can read my GBS story at www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie

2) I also explained having a routine was instrumental in my recovery. I have pretty much followed that routine for the last three plus years with my morning routine being most important. My friend asked me what a morning routine looks like. For me to make the most of each day, I need to get it started out right. I try not to schedule early morning meetings because it leaves me feeling rushed into what is almost always a crazy, jam packed day. Heather Riggleman writes about routines using Mark 1:35 “One of the reasons Jesus got up early was to be alone with God. If nothing else, choosing this step is vital. It is so worthwhile to seek first the Kingdom of God. God wants to meet with us. He has so many things he wants to share. He’s waiting to commune and communicate. He’s waiting to fill our souls before we race through the day.” Glenn Lundy writes about his proper morning routine in https://themorning5.com/ebook

My morning routine starts the night before. For me to get up at least an hour and a half before the day’s activities begin, I have to go to bed at a regular time. That way, my body is ready to wake up between 5:30 and 6am every day. If I am honest, there are nights where I go to sleep looking forward to my coffee in the AM. I set it up the night before so all I have to do is push the button when I wake up. My devotionals start before the coffee is ready. It consists of reading scripture and other devotional books and blogs. I pray and journal asking the Lord for guidance on things I know will be happening throughout the day. As people come to mind, I text and email them to let them know I am thinking about them. I then create and send out via social media and text a motivational thought for the day and for fun, post a recently taken picture with a personal haiku. Knowing I am going to do that keeps me focused during the day on something I will want to post the next day which I hope will help people be thankful in all things. Another way of walking in faith throughout my day is what I call the 6-9-12-3-6-9 BSKHIG smart phone reminder. On those hours of the day, my phone reminds me to Be Still and Know He is God no matter how the day has gone so far. It makes me stop and do a reset. Often times I recite my own paraphrased versions of The Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23.

This type of routine might not be for you but I encourage you to find one that fits your schedule. This anonymous quote sums it up. “If every day while waking up, you put yourself at the top of your to-do list and take care of your needs first, then everything else will fall into place.” Michael Hyatt shares, “Like the air bags in the airplane, If you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t have the ability to help others”

Over the last three years, my routine has reinforced Ms Riggleman’s thoughts on having an established schedule. “We were created to work in rhythm with the world around us through rest, work, and play. This includes how we start our days, what we put into our bodies, being nourished by God’s word, and how we move our bodies.” We do this by remembering John 15’s teaching “that we are the branches and God is the vine. Only by being attached to Him can we be nourished to produce the fruit so that others can be nourished too. Each morning and throughout the day, I remember Oswald Chambers charge. ”Ask yourself, who am I to serve. ”I cannot give up my will, I must exercise it. I must will to obey so it is never a question of what He will do, but of what I will do to serve and honor Him.” Answering like Isaiah did, ”Here I am Lord send me”

Thanks for reading this week’s blog. Please share it with others if you think they would be encouraged by it. If you haven’t already, please subscribe so you can receive email notifications when new content is posted. I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com

To what are you being held hostage?

My pastor shared a story about saving a goose who had gotten entangled with some fishing line. He knew the goose was in trouble but couldn’t see why until he dove into the water. I learned two lessons as he shared.
It may not be fishing lines but, like the goose, there are things that restrict us from living our lives to the fullest. Look at your life. Is it all you want it to be? If not, what holds you back? Is it lack of confidence, fear, mistrust or like Romans 12:2 says, are you conforming to the world versus experiencing what God wants for your life. We may not even see what holds us back. Like my pastor did I helping the goose, we need others to help identify what is holding us back and then aid us with removing it. The scripture that comes to mind is when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2011%3A1-45&version=NIV If you read the story, Lazarus comes out of the tomb bound in dead clothes meaning his arms and legs were wrapped in material. Jesus speaks to his family/friends next saying “now take his dead clothes off so that he can go home.” The same thing happens when four friends bring a paralyzed man to Christ for healing. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark%202%3A1-12&version=NIV I love that Jesus heals the man because of the faith of the four friends. This passage brought new meaning to me during my fight with Guillain Barre Syndrome. There were so many people who faithfully prayed for my recovery. I am certain my extraordinary recovery was enhanced because of the faithfulness of others.
Whether on your own or with the help in others, ask God to help you shed all that keeps you from the abundant life promised in John 10:10. Think about it. Lazurus came out of the grave bound in grave clothes. He had been raised from the dead. Like the four guys with their now walking friend, Jesus says to the families and friends, now take his grave clothes off so he can go home! Be encouraged. Today is the day you let go of what is holding you back. You are a new creation! Go out out and live that way 😀😀

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“Is your Attitude on Straight?”

I worked for Coldwell Banker back in the 1990’s. Dick Purvis was my boss but also an incredible mentor. He had all of his management team wear a lapel pin with the word Attitude. When he saw you or communicated with us, he would say, “put on a positive attitude and make sure it is on straight.” It became a daily affirmation with all of us much like “How will I make a positive difference in the world today” which I have been saying since the early 80’s. This blog is called Thankful in All Things for a reason. I started writing it to share lessons I have learned through adversity. It comes from finding life is better by having an attitude of gratitude which recently reminded me of Dick’s lapel pin.

When you look honestly at yourself, how do you feel about your attitude? If you find that you look at the glass and see it half empty vs half full, think about why what might be causing your pessimism or negativity? Are you an Adder, Subtractor, Multiplier or a Divider?   https://www.codeprocess.io/adder-subtractors-multipliers-dividers-the-types-of-people/ As I wrote about a couple weeks ago, we need to FACE our thoughts, TRACE what causes us to feel that way, ERASE it, and then find a way to REPLACE it with a positive mindset moving forward. This is what Dick meant when he would encourage us to have our attitude on straight.

Philippians 2:2-4 explains how having a Christ like mindset will keep our attitude in the right place. Paul writes, “Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Charles Stanley explains it this way. “My limited human perspective doesn’t allow me to grasp His greater plan. However, I can confirm the truth of this biblical promise because the Father’s good handiwork appears all through my pain, hardship, and loss. I have experienced Him turn mourning into gladness and have seen Him reap bountiful blessings and benefits from my darkest hours.”

The truth that Charles writes about can set you free. John 8:31,32 states, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Free to live a life that allows you to face the challenges this life brings, conquer your fears, not seek others approval, but instead, live for an “audience of One” Who you can trust with the outcome. The One who created you and made you who you are. Knowing there is no one else like you and your are here for a purpose will help you keep that attitude on straight.



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Advent….Another season of waiting

2019 was a year of waiting to recover from Guillain Barre Syndrome (www.CaringBridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie. Little did I know that 2020 would bring a new kind of waiting; the all clear from Covid19. Although I am physically well and have accomplished my 180 goal stated in this link http://thankfulinallthings.com/tag/transformed/, the doctors have me self-isolating as much as possible. They say that is the best course of action given my compromised immune system because Covid19 can result in Guillain Barre as well. Singer Christopher Cross had that exact thing happen https://youtu.be/aeEe9W8wayw back in March. Along with all of you, we wait for a vaccine that will hopefully allow us to return to our normal lives again sometime in 2021.

Waiting for recovery in 2019 and Covid19 to be brought under control in 2020 has made the season of Advent more poignant for me. Why? Because it is also about waiting and waiting is never easy. I guess that is why they say “patience is a virtue.” 😀 God’s chosen people had been waiting for a Messiah for a lot longer than a couple of years. God’s son, Jesus, had been prophesied hundreds of years before in Isaiah 7:14. Here is a link to 44 prophesies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled in the New Testament. https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/swisscottage/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2014/11/44-Prophecies-Jesus-Christ-Fulfilled.pdf

One such prophesy shares about the servant, the messiah for whom they were waiting.

Isaiah 42 goes on to say what the people could expect upon His arrival.
“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

Ponder this question on this 2nd Sunday of Advent. For what or for whom are you waiting? Is it something temporal in nature like improved health or the end of Covid19? There is no doubt I have found both are worth waiting for with expectant anticipation. Yet this Christmas season, try waiting on God to show you how He wants to renew your life. There you will find the everlasting Hope that was promised in Isaiah. The hope that comes from God who loved us enough to send His Incarnate Son to live amongst us. Wait on Him friends and watch how he will bring justice to this broken and bruised world that feels like at any moment could be snuffed out like a smoldering wick. Joy to the world, The Lord has come. May we each receive Him personally as our King. When we do we can remain Thankful in All Things.

Thanks for reading my thoughts on what it means to wait during The Advent season. I can be reached by email at michael@mrg7175.com Please subscribe to the blog if you want to get email notifications when new content is posted.

Isn’t it great when someone says you made a difference no matter how small or large?

Affordable housing was the topic on my radio show a couple weeks ago. I had the opportunity to speak with two Realtors whose initiatives resulted in four families buying homes when they never thought it possible. I congratulated them saying, “you all can always look back and be thankful knowing your efforts has and will In the future, help others experience homeownership.” It reminded me that our individual decisions to go out and serve can and will make the world a better place. I saw a powerful video about Rick Rescorla that illustrated this very point. Very few know his name but his one act cost him his life but saved the lives of 2700 fellow employees. https://youtu.be/J8XfwZAKPMk As I wrote last week, he exemplifies choosing not to retreat but to strive forward on behalf of others.

Two scripture passages jump out at me when thinking about how knowing we have made a difference in the world allows us to be thankful. Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” 2 Corinthians 9:11,12 “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

The ultimate verse though is Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” The greatest motivation to do good works is not so that we can be applauded or told how much someone appreciates you. It is that God exhibited the greatest act of love by allowing His son to die for us and therefore when we got out to serve others, It is like we are serving Jesus himself.

I read a book years ago with the title, The Five People You Meet In Heaven  by Mitch Albom. It follows the life and death of a man named Eddie who is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive. Thinking about it reminds me of the opportunity each of us has to create positive or negative ripples out into the world. I think we would all agree, like Eddie in the book, we would rather have people smiling when they say to you “I remember when you…….” I bet the almost 2700 people who survived the tower collapse on 9/11 remember what Rick Rescorla did for them.

“Ever present Father, You are active in everything and everyone and every moment, moving the world toward the full manifestation of your loving reign. Help us to love ourselves wholly up to you; to be instruments of your will in this and every moment” Gregory Boyd

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Looking back, allows you to look forward

Last week I played my annual 100 holes of golf to raise money for FCA and AIA. When the person I played with found out about my recovery from Guillain Barre, his 1st response was “that had to be really scary.” My answer, in all honesty, is nothing scared me once it was determined I would not need to go on a ventilator. That in itself was a blessing as the doctor gave me a 78% chance of that happening within 24 hours of being admitted to UVA. It was the only time I cried. I have thought a lot about not being scared and it boils down to one thing. My faith allowed me to trust God in as Paul writes in Hebrews 11, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” I also trusted a good friend who is a doctor when he said, “this is going to get worse but you will get better” But why did I have such a trust?

The trust came from being able to look back over my life to the significant moments where God met me in that place and showed me the way forward. As I shared my GBS story with my golf marathon partner, the book “Hinds feet in high places” by Hannah Humard came to mind. The author titled it based on Habakkuk 3:19, “The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds‘ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.” and also from Psalm 18:33 “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” I was not scared because I believed my strength would return, I would walk again and yes, even be able to play golf all day long for FCA/AIA. “Much Afraid” in Hinds feet “had the feeling that somehow, in the very far-off places, perhaps even in far-off ages, there would be a meaning found to all sorrow and an answer too fair and wonderful to be as yet understood.” I have experienced that same wonderful meaning in my life.

Elizabeth Elliott expressed where rest is found in marathons or any challenge we face: ”God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will. and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.” Pamela Bunn writes in her blog https://astherainandsnow.com/author/astherainandsnow/, “Though Elijah had his weak moments of discouragement and fear, Elijah would learn by experience that the Lord would never ask him to do anything for which He was not enough. Repeatedly, His adequacy came forth out of lack and impossibility, and that is where it best shines. (1 Kings 17:11-1618:32-39)

Prior to GBS there have been many times in my life that like Much Afraid in Hinds Feet, God met me which gave me the strength and courage to persevere in the midst of the adversity. Each time it made me stronger having gone through it. Little did I know I would need those times to not be afraid when lying in a hospital bed with GBS unable to move. Here are some things I learned from a sermon by Chip Ingram at https://livingontheedge.org that I hope will help you the next time you come up against a challenge.

  1. God uses adversity to make us more mature because we are forced to depend on God rather than on our own power
  2. We are weaned from the worldly and temporal things and made to realize what is really important In our lives
  3. We get to witness the reality and Power Of God. 
  4. God gives us the privilege of showing others what it looks like to trust in God.
  5. Finally, going through a struggle gives you the ability to help others who are experiencing some kind of trial in their life.

Paul sums it up well in 2 Corinthians 9:8. “It is in these very hard circumstances that His enough is the most welcome, satisfying, and glorious, showing forth the bounty of His nature toward us.” I pray you will find joy in knowing God is indeed enough. Be blessed!

To learn more about my GBS story visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie If you want to support my FCA/AIA golf fundraiser, click on this link. https://my.fca.org/donation?name=fcauvagolfmarathon I can be reached at michael@mrg7175.com

Is God calling you to be a Bridge Builder

How we handle difficulties can encourage others and draw His children closer to Him. Your

Joni Eareckson Tada shares-“God did not take His hands off the wheel of your life for a nanosecond. From start to finish, everything followed God’s plan for you. your trials have much more meaning than you realize. Your problems have more purpose than you can imagine” It could be that what you have experienced will help someone else deal with the challenges they face.”

How we handle difficulties can indeed encourage others and draw His children closer to Him. Your journey can become just the inspiration someone else needs. One of the greatest compliments we can receive is that we are a “Bridge Builder”. That God has gifted us with the ability to be like a bridge when someone gets to what seems like an unpassable place in life. Being the person who helps facilitate a way for the person in need to get across to the other side of the dilemma. When I think about what it means to be a bridge, here are a few things that come to mind.

1) A bridge has to be strong enough to carry the weight of what it is allowing to cross. Therefore, it needs to have a firm foundation. Isaiah 28:16 says,”Therefore thus says the Lord God,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.

2) It also has to be trusted by those using it that it is reliable no matter what the circumstance. If you are seen as a bridge, people will know that when they come to you no matter what, you will be there to walk them over their fears, anxieties, uncertainties, etc. 3) Sometimes a person’s burden may be too much for you to bear so the bridge needs more structural support. Make sure, like Moses in Exodus 17,, you have people committed to lifting you up. “Aaron and Hur were with Moses from the beginning and when Moses struggled to keep his hands lifted up, Aaron and Hur provided the support he needed.”

Like the song sung by Simon and Garfunkel back in my day 🙂 being a bridge to someone allows them to

Sail on silver girl
Sail on by
Sail on, sail on, sail on

Your time has come
To shine
All your dreams
Are on their way
Your dreams are on their way
See how they shine

God says our lives can shine even in these uncertain days. filled with Covid19 concerns and, with no doubt, our world is faced with troubled waters. Each of us has a role we can play in allowing God to intervene all of us can experience the peace that “surpasses all human understanding” He promises in Philippians 4. I pray the Lord will make us a bridge so others can find a way over whatever obstacles stand in their way. If being a bridge seems like too much, find someone who is and offer your support as Aaron and Hur did for Moses. That way we will all do our part to help others withstand the burdens that we all face. The result will be God’s kingdom being built up on earth as it is in heaven and strengthening others to do the same. 

Pamela Bunn writes in http://www.astherainandsnow.com, When we fix our identitiy in God, and who He’s called us to be, our lives will be permeated with a serenity of Spirit, even when we are flagging, that draws others to our source of strenght.” What better bridge can be built than one that takes us to the God our Father, who art in heaven.

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Who will stand in the gap?

grand canyon sunset

The definition of the word divide is “a wide divergence between two groups, typically producing tension or hostility.” These days there are so many places we see division; “To wear or not wear a mask”, “how in the world can people be gathering in large groups”, and “aren’t those people lucky they have a cool place to shelter in place” just to name a few. Of course there are much bigger things like “do Black Lives Matter” and what does it mean to “Defund the police” Where we all don’t have the same answer on how to solve the problem. These challenges whether small and petty or large and Important have created divisions even in families and amongst friends for whom we really care about. The question is are the majority of us willing to stand in the gap in these conversations so that love will prevail vs allowing those who espouse hatred to seize control.

Let me take a little poetic license with one verse in The classic song, “what’s love got to do with it”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGpFcHTxjZs As you read the lyrics, Think about engaging with someone who doesn’t think the way you do.

It may seem to you that I’m acting confused
When you’re close to me
If I tend to look dazed I’ve read it someplace
I’ve got cause to be
There’s a name for it
There’s a phrase that fits
But whatever the reason you do it for me

Aren’t we all confused by how people are acting? Haven’t the tensions and yes, hostilities, left you a bit dazed and tired? There are many names for it and a phrases that fit. Here are a few words that might sum it up: discouragement, fatigue, hopelessness, and despair. Along with Phrases such as : you don’t care, you can’t understand, and I can’t trust you all lead up to feeling divided, one against another with a sense that there is no way to bridge the gap. The reason that I can remain thankful in all things in this very different season of adversity is that I have hope that “love can conquer all things” Why? Because Jesus validates it when asked what are the most important commandments?

We are to 1st “love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.” The 2nd is that we are to “love others as God loves us”. If we can figure out the 1st, our personal inward hopes (closer to Christ, relationships, etc.)” we will experience a freedom to do the 2nd an outward expression of loving others in a way that is useful to the Lord, Making it His work not mine. Can it be so simple that if My desire is to Love Him with all my heart, love others as He loves me (even though I often times am unloveable) leads to being released that I can count on the fact that His plan not mine will be the outcome? If so, I can strive to stand in the gap “pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) The prize these days would be to see divisiveness turned into unity.

Beth Moore exhorts us forward by writing, “True greatness will never come to those who seek to be great. It will come to those who make themselves of no reputation and give their unseen everyday lives, their everyday energies, their everyday faith to serving others amid their own everyday sufferings & unrequited desires.”

1 Corinthians 13 says the 3 most important things in life are Faith, Hope, and Love but the greatest of these is Love. Our faith in each other is wavering which can cause us to lose hope. I began this post with lyrics from a classic Tina Turner song. Let me end it with the chorus of one of my favorite campfire songs by the Youngbloods. Go ahead, take the time to listen to it. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRbTvoxRNxM


Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

James 3:18 says “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” If we choose to go out with an intent to love one another, I believe we can cause others to do the same. In doing so, we can in fact stand in the gap shining light in the dark, letting good to defeat evil knowing and regaining the hope that love will conquer hatred.

My Guillain Barre Syndrome story which is what started this blog can be found by visiting www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie You can contact me by making a comment here on the blog or by emailing me at michael@mrg7175.com

How are you dealing with the adversity in your life?

Charles Stanley-“For us to accept that God allows–or even sends–afflictions, we must see adversity from His perspective. Is your focus on the pain of your experience or on the Lord and His faithfulness? As believers, we’re assured that no adversity comes our way unless He can use it to achieve His good purposes.” Even Paul faced adversity throughout his ministry which h called “the thorn in my side”

Do we believe what is stated above? People ask, “what did you learn from your bout with Guillain Barre?” The simplest answer is my faith life was tested, found real, and is stronger than ever. I don’t have the wisdom to know exactly how God works, but I Now know from personal experience that the more I submit to him, the more of His power He can entrust to me. When I become less (like not being able to move 😀) and He becomes more, His power is able to move through me (which it literally did) more freely. I would rather have not been paralyzed and in a rehab facility for 2 months. The challenge, however, provided the opportunity for me exercise my belief and trust while relinquishing control of the outcome. He made real what I already believed. That through his power, love, and self-discipline, I don’t need to be afraid because His power is unlimited and like this song shares, unstoppable. https://youtu.be/De6gZZT1690 My only job is to love Him with all my heart, love others as He loves me so His power can flow through me to the world around me.

Little did I know how important these lessons would be a year and a few months later. If navigating Covid19 wasn’t enough, we must now study and learn from each other and humbly seek understanding on the matter of race. I have written in a previous post about our need to Study and Learn from others so that we can understand things from other people’s perspective. We need to make ourselves vulnerable so others can help us with our blind spots. Like Lazarus when he was raised front the dead (John 11) we have things in our life restricting us from the abundant life God want us to live. In verse 44 Jesus said to Lazarus’ friends after he came out with his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.  “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” Who will you allow into your life to help you do the same?

Once you have done your due diligence and allowed God to provide you new insights ask yourself the question my friend George Morris is asking me. “What will you do to make a difference that you have never done before?”

To read more about my bout with Guillain Barre Syndrome go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/michaelguthrie You can email me at michael@mrg7175.com

For what are you longing?

In a world where we rarely agree any more one thing is for sure. We all long for this time of sheltering in place and social distancing to be over. Living our lives via Virtual zoom, FaceTime, youtube, etc. is wearing on us all. How that happens and when is a different question but it is impacting every one of us. Some feel strongly we need to stay the course and not have folks venturing out to fast. Others have lost their patience and are saying enough is enough. Like the newscaster in the movie, Network, they are acting upon their feelings “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more.” They are going to take their chances with the hope I won’t come down with Covid19 or give it to someone else. They are willing to risk “the long term consequence for the short term opportunity of being with friends again”.

My hope is we won’t be too quick to judge others. That we will extend grace to one another understanding we are all dealing with something that is new. When faced with adversity, we all are not going to react in the same manner. It is no surprise that one recent study shows, 30% of us show symptoms of clinical depression. It begs the question, for what are we longing as we wait? If we can get our arms around that question, I think it can help us persevere through and relate better with those around us. It certainly did for me as I battled back from Guillain Barre Syndrome during the spring months of 2019. Little did Dottie and I know we would once again battle through another type of adversity during those same months in 2020. Hopefully what we have learned will in some way help you during this challenging and stressful time. Which brings me back to the importance of longing for something.

When things were at their worse, we chose to focus on staying in the present with our motivation being what’s next? What can we do next? Longing for an unknown future did us no good. All we could control was what we did in each moment that would hopefully make me better the next day trusting in verses like Psalm 46:1,2 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way  and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” As an example, I went into the hospital on March 1, 2019 and we honestly never asked when the experts thought I would be able to go home. We sensed longing for something given our uncertain situation would just lead us into discouragement. We chose to stay focused on OK this is where we are right now, What can I do next to get me a little bit better tomorrow.
I believe there is a parallel between this thought process for my GBS recovery and how we all should be dealing with this season of Coronavirus. Taking it moment by moment, day by day helped keep us from spiraling down into discouragement. Interestingly enough, the last two weeks in rehab were the worst. Why? Because once they told me I would go home on 4/25, I lost my in the moment thinking. All I could think of was going home. My rehab room felt like a prison. Sound familiar? Most of us have handled this stay at home order well but we now can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is causing all of us to lose the discipline of staying in the moment. We are losing our patience because we desire and want something we can’t control which creates angst & frustration.

Staying in the moment is essential when we face a challenge but thinking of and serving others can also help you through this difficult time. When we start succumbing to the desire for a “pity party” try getting outside yourself by doing something for someone else. My good friend Bill Clark shared in a recent blog post that understanding we are all in this together is critical. “Romans 12 “the body” United upward, inward, outward. indispensable every part matters. Each of us matter. Interdependent and connected as there are no such things as an isolated walk w Christ. Most of the Yous in the Bible are You all. Therefore resentment and bitterness is like a cancer. We are the body to shine the light of Christ. We are to follow Him so he can lead us outward to serve and care for one another so the world can see what God is like. Others are to encounter God through us.

I long for the world to be a better place than it was before Covid19. A world where we learned a slower pace is good for our health. A world where we see we are all in this together with a keener awareness of those in need. A world where we believe and stand together knowing each one of us is precious in God’s sight. A world where we don’t think as much about our rights but instead, as we venture back out, we think about how our actions are impacting those around us. It won’t be easy but if we try it moment by moment “What can I do next to serve someone” mentality we will have done our part in making our community a better place.

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