Mark Glaeser - February 9, 2021
You know the game. A grid-like formation of little moles popping up in front of you. You whack one with your toy hammer and two more pop up. You move faster, whack those two, and another mole sneaks up in the corner. You are forever chasing and rarely catching all the moles. I feel that way sometimes.
The new word of 2020-2021 has to be pivot. To pivot is to change direction, to turn on a central mechanism. I’m not sure if you read our congregation’s annual report. It was full of comments by the church staff on how their teams had pivoted in 2020.
My report must have used the word fifty to seventy-five times. We pivoted. And I was proud of how the team pivoted. I made sure to include many examples of great pivoting. I recounted how worship (around which my entire job is focused) had pivoted from an in-house event you had to attend, and it has now pivoted to an event you can elect to watch when you want. As in: not watching as early in the morning, perhaps at a later hour, while in bathrobe and coffee in hand, or at another time all together!
In our teams’ pivot, we have focused a lot of time, attention to detail, and financial resources to creating a compelling, easy-to-navigate, worshipful online experience. Here is where the whacking part comes in. We have worked to make the website worship access easier than ever. Whack. We figure out what is causing the Sneak Peek videos’ deficiencies in volume, whack, and then Facebook bounces our service off the internet for a copyright dispute. We tweak one thing and whack, two more things show themselves. Whack. Whack. Can we never just “arrive”? Can the problems ever be truly resolved? Can’t we make online worship perfect?
I know you all can share your own pivot stories. You might find yourself acting as schoolteacher while running your own home school while attempting to run your job from the dining room table. Whack. Your social life came to a screeching halt 10 months ago and you feel disconnected from your own world. Whack. Whack. Families are restricted to seeing each other through windows. Whack. Surgeries happen without loved ones in waiting areas. We shop on Amazon like never before, and order groceries online, don’t eat in restaurants, and suffer through trying to find and schedule vaccinations according to priority guidelines. Talk about pivoting. Whack. Whack.
May I suggest we pivot our focus to Jesus? Life is speeding by in a new direction at a dizzying pace! Whack. Depression is rampant. Whack. Whack. Suicides are up, especially for teenagers. Whack. In pivoting our focus on Jesus, our focus shifts from our own needs to adjust and pivot. Instead, we focus on His care, His constant, never-failing-love, His concern for our anxiety in pivoting. After His track record of caring for us since the dawn of time, why would He suddenly pivot from His love for us in 2021? God is bigger than any pandemic, any family trouble, any personal anxiety.
Good luck with tackling the challenges and obstacles in your life. Whack ‘em. Whack ‘em good.