Can The Coronavirus Propel Your Purpose? Guest Blogger, Alex McElroy, talks purpose during pandemic.
The Coronavirus, specifically the novel strain known as COVID-19, has redefined life for everyone in the past few weeks. Health care workers are logging multiple days of overtime to treat those stricken with the virus.
School districts are shutting their doors one after the other with kids now unable to learn or socialize in their normal ways.
Parents are gaining a whole new appreciation for teachers.
Many are losing jobs and some others their lives.
But since you are reading this, the question for you is – what are you going to do going forward?
Social distancing will likely become a part of our new normal for some time. It is even more likely that our mode of operation, from how we greet each other, how we gather, and how we engage in communal locations will never be as it was. Those that were alive at the time will recall that after September 11, 2001, some things changed permanently.
Social distancing, whether we like it or not, has forced most of us to spend more time at home. While the first reaction may be boredom, may I suggest the proper way to view this extra time is as a gift? I know that sounds weird amid a pandemic where jobs and lives are being lost. Additionally, I don't mean to sound insensitive to those who are deeply and personally affected by this pandemic. The fact remains that the vast majority of us will come out of this situation alive and well. Therefore, using this time as preparation for perfecting your purpose would be wise.
Here are three ways to maximize your time as you shelter in place.
READ, READ, READ
They say reading is fundamental. It is estimated that 56% of Americans read at least one book of some sort each year. Another report shows that 26% of American adults say they haven't read a book in whole or in part in the past year, whether in print, electronic or audio form. One-third of people making less than $30,000 a year claim to have not read a book in the last 12 months, while only 17% of those making over $75,000 a year make the same claim.
Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, was once asked how to get smarter and said, "Read 500 pages like this every week. That's how knowledge builds up, like compound interest." While many people claim to dislike their current job or their present situation, questions must be asked: "What are you reading that will help you change your situation? What are you putting in your brain tank that will produce positive change in the world?"
LEAPFROG IN YOUR LEARNING
I'm not one who likes to be stuck at home all day, but sometimes life forces us to adapt. The Coronavirus has forced us to temporarily adopt a new day-to-day rhythm. While we may be tempted to complain in such situations, a healthier perspective is to view this as a moment to leapfrog in our learning. There are things we wish we had time to accomplish but couldn't due to work or other commitments.
With those commitments on hold, this might be the time to learn a new skill, finish a project, write your vision, and begin doing research. If you haven't been able to find the time to fulfill your purpose through your current job, you now have the time. What have you "never had the time" to do but would provide you the ability to leapfrog to where you want to be? Now is the time.
DISTANCE WITH PURPOSE
Even when all is well, there may be times that we distance ourselves from others so that we can focus on a specific goal. One primary difference with the current situation is that this isolation is not voluntary. However, if we view this social distancing as an opportunity to create what currently doesn't exist or to provide a solution to a problem in the world, we may be surprised by what we produce.
Due to the plague sweeping through Europe, William Shakespeare was quarantined and wrote King Lear. While at Trinity College in Cambridge, England in 1665, Isaac Newton returned home due to the Great Plague of London. During his time of quarantine, which he later referred to as his annus mirabilis, the "Year of Wonders," Newton invented calculus, developed theories on optics and defined the theory of gravity.
Wow! Knowing these stories, I hope we can approach a time of distancing with purpose. A purpose driven life cannot be successfully lived if it is aimless.
About Alex McElroy
Alex McElroy is an international speaker, Apologist, author, blogger, leadership advisor, and the former Pastor of Education at New Life Covenant Southeast Church, with over 20,000 members led by Pastor John F. Hannah. Now a founding Pastor at Engage Community Church, Alex has served in both youth and teaching ministries at New Life for over 13 years. In that role, he taught Discipleship class designed for adults to learn, fellowship, and grow in their faith within a small group setting. Alex has also trained hundreds of teachers and ministers to deliver lessons in proper lifestyle, Biblical study, focused preparation, and Apologetics in order to maximize their effectiveness in and for the Kingdom of God.
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