The Four C's

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a staggering amount of change in our society and world.  And with that change comes loss.  And with loss comes pain.  So regardless of so many details about the crisis, it's important that each of us take the time to acknowledge the pain this uncharted territory has caused.

At the end of the book of Deuteronomy, Moses and the Israelites have been navigating much change for years, but they're about to cross into a new land.  What's more, Moses won't be in the lead!  A change of place and leadership?  I'm sure it felt like too much change to bear.  

And this is why God gave Moses these words in Deut. 31:6: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

On Sunday, Pastor Aaron shared the "Four C's" for dealing with change.  We use them a lot in leadership at UPPC, and they can help you navigate change in your life, too.

1) Conviction.  This is where it all starts.  Remember why you're doing what you're doing.  What is the foundation of it all?  What's the "end game?"  For Joshua, the conviction was that God was leading them to a new homeland.  That promise wouldn't change because of circumstances.  Our convictions are like our anchor during the storms of change.  

2) Connected.  Staying connected to loved ones, neighbors, and especially our antagonists is crucial to navigating change.  It can be tempting to cut and run when things get tough.  But remember the story from last week -- it's better to be in the boat together.  And Moses tells Joshua, "You must go with this people..."  

3) Calm.  How many times does the Bible say "Do not be afraid?"  But this "C" is maybe the toughest.  Fear can grip us so strongly!  But it's pretty easy to overcome with a regular reminder of who we have on our side.  Pastor Aaron told a touching story from his early childhood when he struggled with night terrors.  His dad, Jim, would have Aaron wear his t-shirts, so that whenever Aaron would awaken in the night afraid, he would immediately feel and smell his dad's t-shirt and remember how near his dad really was.  Paul tells us that the Spirit of God lives within us.  God is not only near people who call Jesus Lord, God is within us.  And his presence can calm the greatest fears.  

4) Course.  Staying the course basically means not giving up.  It's the wrap-around of #1, about conviction.  When you're anchored in that conviction, you'll be more able to press on through challenges because you know it's worth it.  Anxiety is fueled by the "lie of permanence."  Grab those lies by the nape of their necks and toss them out the back door!  And then turn back to the task at hand, staying connected with your community, letting go your fears to your Father, and stay the course.  

For reflection:
- Do you recall any examples of Jesus demonstrating any of these four C's?
- Do you know any stories of other people in your life or in history who demonstrating the four C's?
- What changes are you going through right now?  Are any of these four C's difficult in light of those changes?

Many blessings!
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