After three months of facing the ambiguity of living with covid 19, how are you doing? March 11th started the official pandemic. You’ve been in a time warp for three months. Take this quiz by answering yes, no or sometimes to the following statements to see how your mindset is reacting to the paradox of the both/and approach to life right now.
- You have developed both rhythm and space for your day-to-day living
- You wonder about the coming months both with curiosity and with questions about the unknown
- You find ways to both dissipate your fears and put that energy to work
- You contact both friends and family to stay connected to the outside world
- You discover nature and creation both restorative and invigorating
- You permitted creative endeavors to feed both your soul and your mind
What did you discover?
As you read down the list of both/and what did you discover? What types of practices have assisted you during this unusual time of living? A both/and approach to living seeks to hold the tension of paradox with open hands and receive the grace of abundance.
Most of the time, if you are like me, you face a decision or an activity from an either/or aspect. I either need to feed my soul or feed my mind, don’t I? How can an activity I choose feed both? Or can I possibly dissipate my fears or do they paralyze me where I sit?
The both/and approach to viewing challenging times helps you and me out of our heads and emotions and step back to see what choices we do have and for me, what emotions I could attach to the experiences I choose.
However, I find it impossible to step back for this big picture view without God’s help.
How can you better live both now and into whatever is ahead?
The quiz you took above may give you some insight. What resonated with you? What is your both/and?
As a spiritual director and someone who prays, the living I want to do right now stems from both praying continually and listening throughout my day for insight and encouragement from what God want to show me. God’s challenge to you and I include:
Let joy be your continual feast.Make your life a prayer. And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18,TPT)
Without His bigger perspective and reminder to make my life a prayer and let joy be my continual feast, I am unable to live a life of both/and. Thank goodness it is God’s plan to come alongside each of us. It is possible to make your life a life of prayer. You just have to ask Him.
With what little both/and can you experiment?
For the summer, what little thing in the both/and perspective can you experiment with? Contacting both family and friends? Getting both outside to enjoy nature and noticing God in creation?
Whatever it is, I am certain that a both/and perspective can bring more abundance to this most unusual time in your life. As Jesus said,
But I have come to give you everything in abundance,more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow! (John 10:10b,TPT)
I continue to pray for each of you. Be sure to reply to this email so I can pray for you specifically. I would love to support you in your both/and life with spiritual direction if that would be helpful.
The unrest around the world of the last week needs all of our prayers.
Nancy Booth wants to create safe spaces for you, helping you find ways to have two-way conversations with God. She loves encouraging you to look for ways He is at work. Nancy is a spiritual director and writer. She would love to accompany you on your journey of discovery to hear and see more of the God who delights in you. Peace, hope and freedom could be yours Contact her today..
What a beautiful message, to remind me today that God has given us abundance! When I “either/or” my situation, it is as if I’m telling God that there isn’t enough. He has already given me everything I need.
Yes, indeed, Christine. And when you start watching for that abundance, watch out! Overflowing beyond measure. I can’t wait to hear about the abundance! Blessings!
What a reminder this message is to refocus our priorities. Dear Lord, make my life a prayer — please.