One of the challenges before all of us in striving to live in gospel-centered community is certainly our natural proclivity to stay in safe waters. So often we look like a group of snorkelers who are bunched up together peering into the deeper waters but hesitant to dive below.
Our hearts generate a myriad of justifications for why we stay on the surface. It feels more comfortable. Deeper waters present unpredictable challenges. We can’t breathe down there on our own. Control seems like something we possess as we float on top of the water.
We’re often told (including by me) that we should focus on the outcomes we want to achieve (for example, driving to a sales target). And we should. Usually.
But when we’re scared or intimidated or pursuing something so big that we don’t even really know where to begin, we need to focus on the process that will get to the outcome. A good process will guide you along the path to get you where you want to go, and you can follow a good process no matter what you’re feeling.
Anxiety does not create contentment. Nor is the contented person restless. Contentment is not grown by what one does or does not have. Contentment is knowing, by faith, that for those who seek the Lord this situation is precisely where and what He has for you. Learning contentment asks of the Lord, who sets the times and boundaries of men, “what do You have for me, even in this?”
We typically think about the summer as a time to pull back. To take a break. To rest up for what will be a busy fall. So we go to the beach, sleep late, and lounge around. Maybe we even shut down our Bible study groups for a while.
In other words, we play defense against the pressures of life. But what if, instead of playing defense this summer, we chose to play offense? What if we had a redemptive mindset toward the time we have rather than a defensive one?
When iGen Enters Your Women’s Ministry—Ashley Chesnut
In her book iGen, researcher Jean Twenge reports, “…56% more teens experienced a major depressive episode in 2015 than in 2010…and 60% more experienced severe impairment.” On college campuses, it’s not unusual for students to take a semester or a year off from school for mental health reasons, and both from what I’ve read and from what I’ve observed as I disciple and counsel ladies in our ministry, iGen increasingly struggles with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts and are overwhelmingly taking medication to address these issues.