Many of us are disoriented, as if we are actually living in one of those wacky dreams where nothing seems to work, where every attempt at a remedy creates yet another problem. We cannot help but wonder how the world will look when this crisis is over. We are experiencing a paradigm crash, a phrase I borrowed from Dr. Earl Creps. “A paradigm expresses my basic orientation toward how life works; it is my ‘operating system’ of unspoken premises that runs in the background unattended. … A crash happens when pain makes the frailty of those assumptions impossible to ignore… sometimes violent, sometimes gradual.” (Off Road Disciplines) Sounds bad doesn’t it?
Consider this – “Paradigm crashes create an opportunity for God to take us off road, awakening us to mission by crucifying aspects of our culture and spirituality that need to die.”
This Monday morning when I look out over the coming weeks, my prayer is for new vision to emerge from the wreckage. I want to remain open to the possibilities that are created by this interruption of ‘normal.’ Will you join me in that quest?
Let’s ask ourselves some tough questions about our relationship with God.
Were we content to be ‘religious’ thinking that we had a deal with God? Was this unspoken assumption underlying our choices: “I’m good, moral, kind, and say my prayers. You bless me!”? As the assurances of the life we hoped for are much less certain today, are we leaning into knowing Him, our hearts and mind open before Him?
My desire is to pray, with faith, “Lord, I want to know YOU” even more fervently than “Lord, fix this mess so I can be comfortable again.”
When we experience a ‘paradigm crash’ our assumptions about Him, ourselves, and the way that life should work disintegrate. It is a dangerous time and we must not try to navigate a renewal alone.
- Build strong friendships with people who are passionate about Him, too.
- Go back to the core Truths about God’s grace and goodness.
- Let key Scriptures remind you that HE knows you, your weaknesses, your strengths, your failures and successes- and loves you with a love that no human love can equal.
At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus went through something like a paradigm crash. “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” (Luke 4:1-2, NIV) Led by the Spirit into the desert! The phrase shouts with meaning for me this Monday morning. God had a purpose for His Son’s encounter with the Devil, with temptation. Jesus emerged in the Power of the Spirit to be our Savior.
You will emerge from this time a different person. We all will!
What kind of difference will it be?
Is Jesus the King of your life or is He King in name only? Who is really determining how you live – Self or Jesus Christ? That is a tough question, perhaps one you cannot honestly answer today. Is confusion lurking in the darkness at the edges of your mind? Ask God to show you the truth about your self, your assumptions about the world, even your expectations of Him.
Perhaps you believed on Him a long time ago as Savior, but only now are coming to grips with making Him Lord and King of your life. Trust Him! He will not write you off, throw you away, or forget you. There is a new grace to be discovered at the end of the life you have planned, when He is allowed to bring into existence the eternal life He has planned.
The word from the Word informs us about our foundation. When we are living through a paradigm crash we need a solid Rock.
“I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then obeys me. It is like a person who builds a house on a strong foundation laid upon the underlying rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against the house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who listens and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will crumble into a heap of ruins.” (Luke 6:46-49, NLT)
If there ever were dreams
That were lofty and noble,
They were my dreams at the start.
And the hopes for life’s best,
Were the hopes that I harbored,
Down deep in my heart.
But my dreams turned to ashes,
My castles all crumbled,
My fortune turned to loss.
So I wrapped it all in the rags of my life,
And laid it at the cross.
Something beautiful, something good;
All my confusion He understood.
All I had to offer Him
Was brokenness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life.
Something Beautiful –
Gaither, William J. / Gaither, Gloria
© 1971 William J. Gaither, Inc. ARR UBP of Gaither Copyright Management CCLI License No. 810055