Adversity vs Opportunity… Adjust Your Lens
Hi there Kingdom Artist,
Consider this a much needed check-in as we prepare mentally and physically for what’s about to be the start of another year. Yes, it’s almost that time already. But this letter isn’t meant to raise alarm, only to help bring perspective, as we look to what lies ahead. At the beginning of this year it felt like we all had big plans for 2020. It was going to be “THE YEAR”, “Clear Vision”, “20/20 Vision” – you name the slogan, we all probably heard it. Then our world was turned upside down when COVID-19 graced the world stage for her performance. Here in Barbados it took a couple months before the domino effect reached us as one country after the other began to feel the impact of Ms. Coronavirus.
The days flowed into weeks and the weeks into months as we had to engage in social distancing. The protocols became more rigid as the government sought to protect us from losing too many lives at the hands of the deadly virus. Many of us confessed to struggling with being indoors consistently. It wasn’t easy. Not to mention the fact that so many of us lost jobs as many businesses were forced to close their doors because goods and services we once considered vitally “important” were now classified as non-essentials. I know we all can remember when a sea bath was no longer an everyday activity for us islanders. The reality of the crisis facing Barbados and the world at large was undeniable.
Looking back now on all we have survived so far for 2020, I have to wonder – was it truly that devastating? Was our routine and way of life completely ruined? Or did it push us out of our comfort zones? I think the answers to those questions would depend on the lens we choose to look out of. I dare say that COVID-19 was a detour but the truth is, some detours can lead you to beautiful destinations. If it was not for the detour, chances are you would not have taken that particular road at that particular time.
During this lockdown period I realised we all (including myself) had a choice to make. We could either complain, moan and groan or we could take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves to us. Yes, I said opportunities! If you were not prepared for this “crisis”, chances are that coming out of this experience, you should have learnt enough to be ready if ever faced with another crisis in your life. John Maxwell defines a crisis as “a time of intense difficulty or danger requiring a decision.” This aptly describes how so many of us felt during the period of social distancing and lockdown. However, the question is – Did you allow the crisis to make you feel stuck or were you able to pivot and adapt during this season to put yourself on a different trajectory? What was your posture?
If we turn to the Bible, we can find examples of a number of characters who had crises in their lives. From Job to Daniel and the three Hebrew boys; not to mention Jesus Himself. Somehow though, I’m especially thinking of Joseph. Joseph and his Pᶾ experience is inspiring. It motivates us not to give up, and reminds us that things can and will get better when we walk in obedience to God’s will. Joseph went from the pit to the prison and finally to the PALACE. His life was as colourful as the coat his father gave him. From all accounts though, Joseph didn’t complain. He grew wherever he was planted. He never gave up on himself nor on God’s ability to see him through no matter the storm that confronted him. He was detoured but he knew he would not be denied the plans God had pre-destined for his life.
What has God been calling you to do that you either bluntly refused to do or could not find the time to do? What creative gifts and talents have you put on the shelf due to being busy or otherwise preoccupied? Have you been living a life of obedience, walking daily with God? Or have you been so busy that you have not been able to walk in purpose and fulfill your destiny? Have you come face to face with detours or have you been distracted? COVID-19 halted everything and it squeezed some of us. For so many, it felt like the pressure of life was more than we could bear. A lot was happening all at once. In the midst of all that, the circumstance also presented us with a challenge. We were given the opportunity to witness firsthand what comes out of us when we are squeezed. During a crisis, only what is on the inside is what will come out. Your outlook on life – whether positive or negative – will determine your disposition. We can either conform to the box we’re forced into and blend in or we can adapt and find ways to adjust to our reality and make lemonade with the lemons life throws at us. Let’s consider how we can allow the crisis around us to be a catalyst for positive change within us. The key is to be determined to grow even in difficult times. Don’t ask, “What will I do now?” and throw your hands in the air. Rather, ask, “Given my current situation, how best can I pivot and make this work in my favour?”
Right now, there are many opportunities available for learning and growth. Persons have been able to take advantage of opportunities to start new businesses, offering products and services that became essential during the lockdown and social distancing era. Think about the face masks we now all wear. Chances are, you bought it from someone who never made one in their lifetime until now. Persons were forced out of their comfort zones and as a result, ideas blossomed and creative energy started to flow. This is your opportunity to level up if you haven’t already.
Not only were new business ventures birthed but this has also been a season where family bonds have tightened. With so much time on our hands it was definitely prime time for family time. We had more time to pray, study the Word, talk and listen to each other as well as play games and watch movies together. This meant that family members were gifted with a chance to show greater appreciation for their loved ones as we recognized during this season how fragile life truly is. I cannot imagine how it would have felt to lose a loved one during this period and not be able to say goodbye, to be by their side or even to be unable to attend their funeral service. This “crisis” has taught and reinforced for us not to take life or each other for granted.
It is said that a crisis never leaves us the same way; it moves us. The choice is ours which direction we will choose to be moved in. Will we create a new normal, adjust our mindset and refocus our lens to make it a victorious and winning season? How we chose to look at things determines our success. Let us focus on how we can grow despite difficult and adverse conditions and consider what opportunities we have so that for this last quarter of the year, we can finish strong.
About the Writer: Keisha Rock is a woman of God who has a desire and passion for seeing people live out their God ordained potential. To this end as she seeks to fulfill her purpose in this earth and add value to others, Keisha, published her first book “Releasing The Past” in 2018. She is the mother of a teenage daughter, Jada-Kaí who she cherishes dearly. Keisha is a worship leader and worship assistant at her local church, the Church of God Reformation Movement, Jackson. She is a John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Trainer and Coach and an aspiring Counsellor who believes that in the right environment and surrounded by the right people, persons can blossom and grow by leaps and bounds.