The new thing emerges – do you not perceive it?

For the past year I have been reflecting on this verse from Acts 16v25-26.

But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Suddenly there was such a great earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.

Immediately all the doors were unlocked and everyone’s chains came loose.

We are in the midst of earth-shaking events. The ways that we used to operate and the constraints that we have been used to have been cracked open. Many of the constraints of the way we think and operate have been broken, halted or at very least paused. Businesses and whole industries are going to emerge changed. The Coronavirus events – the sickness, the panic, the economic shutdown and isolation are forcing change in days that might have looked like taking years in other circumstances.  Many are beginning to speculate or estimate what the changes will look like.

Video conference calling has become the new normal. Working from home has become a standard mode of operation for many. Hiring and firing online is mainstream. Home delivery has become the only form of shopping for many. At the same time, many jobs cannot be done from home or suspended – like healthcare, rubbish collection or taking medicine to those who need it.

I’ve been anticipating this last sentence for many months:

Immediately all the doors were unlocked and everyone’s chains came loose.

I perceive that we are now in this moment. If we permit constructive thinking and the way we perceive the situation we can open our eyes to the new world.

In this account of Paul and Silas, the jailer was locked into the pre-earthquake perspective, and initially assumed that the shaking loose of his inmates would be disaster for him. In fact, Paul and Silas had not run away. They had already been free in their thinking before the earthquake. Their personal peace kept them from running. Instead they then brought the jailer and his whole household into a place of personal peace.

The new situation emerging is that literally billions of people are being propelled into new thinking. We can be sure that entrepreneurial people around the world are already starting to think about how things could develop. This will include churches, healthcare, education, scientific research, entertainment, sport, government mechanisms and community activities. The way in which the poor and dispossessed are helped can no longer be ‘trickle down’ or just charitable giving – the time for enabling and empowering is here. Many who were impoverished by the old constraints and power structures might now be facing fresh opportunities. Many who have small resources right now also need our help. The measure we use for those who are weak or challenged will be the measure used for us. As we sow we will reap.

Recognise that the chains are coming loose – and start to perceive the new! Help others to see the open door ahead!

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One Response to “The new thing emerges – do you not perceive it?”

  1. Tom Dooley Says:

    Deep water requires a long fishing line and a patient fisherman/woman.

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