Question: How do I help people focus when the information that is coming is ambiguous, and there seems to be no specific target to aim towards – Disequilibria
Disequilibria – a lack or loss of stability
There is a reason, instigated by the pandemic for why we are in a state of Disequilibria –
We are in a liminal space, a space between two worlds
Richard Rohr: We usually enter liminal space when our former way of being is challenged or changed…It is a graced time but often does not feel “graced” in any way. In such space, we are not certain or in control. This global pandemic we now face is an example of an immense, collective liminal space.
This a very uncomfortable place to be, and the intuitive response is to do something.
Yet Is doing something the best, first response?
One of the defining cultural liminal spaces is in the Exodus story. The Hebrew people endure a 40-year liminal experience.
For 40 years The Lord went ahead of them. He guided them during the day with a pillar of cloud, and he provided light at night with a pillar of fire. Exodus 13:21 NLT
In the practice of waiting, looking up, and listening, they learn to trust God
Intrust, they find hope.
Hope grows in the Desert
Dr. Kent Anderson, a professor of mine, wrote:
“It is easier to be spiritual in the garden than in the Desert. It is hard to maintain hope when God goes into hiding. Mature disciples will not despise the Desert, for it is in these arid times that faith turns into faithfulness. It is in the Desert that we get to know God.
We are remarkably like the Hebrew people, worried about how we will eat? What will we eat? We hoard - toilet paper and disinfectants are the new manna.
Rohr continues: In liminal space we sometimes need to not-do and not-perform according to our usual successful patterns. We actually need to fail abruptly and deliberately falter to understand other dimensions of life. We need to be silent instead of speaking, experience emptiness instead of fullness, anonymity instead of persona, and pennilessness instead of plenty. In liminal space, we descend and intentionally do not come back out or up immediately. It takes time but this experience can help us re-enter the world with freedom and new, creative approaches to life.
The Hebrew people leave their liminal space remarkably different than how they enter Canaan. They enter Canaan with a new identity.
The Target - find Hope: We find hope in resisting the intuitive response in crisis to plan and do. Instead create balance in waiting, looking and listening for where God is leading
In what hopeful practices can we engage?