It’s been four months, and there’s no end in sight. What’s the plan?
If your Myers Briggs profile starts with “I” (introvert), the last 16 weeks might have felt like an unexpected energizing vacation. Released from unnecessary interaction with people, you could be free to read or binge to your heart’s content. Congratulations on your good fortune.
For the “E” crowd (extrovert), the last four months have been a time of house arrest. When a judge sentences a wrong-doer to home confinement, they’re normally required to wear a leg bracelet, continually; this is different. With CV-19, we’ve all been assumed to be guilty. No monitor on the ankle, but – if you go outside the house – a facemask is non-negotiable. Has your occasional workout option been “climbing the walls?”
The situation is so widespread and boundless that the chances of charges – or, convictions – of government leaders is unlikely. The charges? False imprisonment: the illegal confinement of one individual against his or her will by another individual in such a manner as to violate the confined individual’s right to be free from restraint of movement.
When the “Breaking News” – whether spikes in CV-19 positive tests, or toppling of statues in another political plaza – becomes repetitive, it’s good to find some external reinforcement from someone who can relate. Find a good book – preferably, non-fiction history – and see what you can learn from a heroic past leader you can trust. Perhaps the Good Book would be a place to start.
Navigate to the back-end; find the 50th of the 66 books. It’s a letter – broken into four chapters by history, but written as a free-flowing message in its original form – from Paul the Apostle to the church he planted, in Philippi.
The origins of that church are outlined in Acts 16. To summarize, Paul’s second extended sweep of the Roman Empire had been redirected by God – in a dream-with-meaning – that sent Paul and his team into Europe. The arrival of the Gospel in Philippi became headline news; the clash of Good and Evil landed Paul and his partner, Silas, in prison for “throwing the city into an uproar.” God decided to get involved at a headline level: an Act of God, brought on for Eternal impact (read for yourself: click here). From that brief incarceration, the prominent breakthrough of the Gospel in town made the start-up church immediately significant.
Run the clock forward: toward the end of Paul’s third missional itinerary, he was arrested in Jerusalem because of the confrontational nature of his unrelenting presentation of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ (which is the most disruptive public message – then, or now – that could be delivered into god-confused cultures). That arrest ultimately resulted in his case being remanded to Rome. During the 20 years of Paul’s devotion to his Kingdom Calling, six were spent in prison (note: the pursuit of Calling requires the courage that comes from confidence).
The believers in Philippi had history with Paul. He knew their story; they knew his. He writes to them from prison in Rome; what would his message be? Woe is me? Regret for his devotion to Christ, that had disrupted his “quality of life?” Appeals for funds to be used in his legal defense?
It’s worth revisiting the first page of his correspondence (click here). That opener – Philippians 1:1-26 – bespeaks a perspective from an unjust detainment that we need to embrace today, ourselves. He writes with greater expressed concern for his readers than for himself, and then offers profound insight: “…what has happened to me has actually served to advance the Gospel…” (v 12).
I’m an ENTJ (Myers-Briggs), but I’m also a called Kingdom Leader (as are you). My E says, “get me outta here!” My Bible says, “use this to advance the Gospel.”
Care to join me?