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Making Lemonade With Toxic Waste
March 18, 2020

We moved to Charlotte in 2008 and it was one of the most difficult periods for that town. At the time they were the second largest banking town in the country, and then the recession hit. Wachovia Bank, which was headquartered in Charlotte at the time, was sold to Wells Fargo and lots of people lost their jobs. I knew many of them. One friend was out of work for over a year. I reached out to him to see how he was doing. I figured he was struggling and maybe angry at the situation, but he told a different story. He said that, although he wasn't happy being out of work, it was mostly out of his control. So, he said he was using the time to hang out with his young kids, something he hadn't been able to do when he was working over 60 hours a week. He was meeting his kids for lunch at their school, volunteering in their classrooms, and reading to the class. He spent extra time exercising and trying to live a healthier life. He spent more time with his wife and enjoyed their time together. He said, "I'm not enjoying emptying my 401k, but I'm going to do the best that I can with a less than desirable situation." Twelve years later, we all seem to be in that same situation.

First, let's get the frustration out of the way. I am freaking out too. Hearing that we may not be able to open the church again until May or later is blowing my mind! How will we be the church if we can't get together? I worry about my kids and how long their schools will be closed.  Yesterday we drove to both schools to pick up their instruments because they may not return this semester. I'm checking the market and reading the news WAY MORE than I should. Gina's gym where she teaches stopped all classes today. Yeah, I'm freaking out, but I keep remembering my friend from Charlotte who did his best to make the best out of a bad situation 12 years ago. And now, somehow, we need to make lemonade out of toxic waste.

If you are mad, yell. If you are scared, tell someone. If you are worried, know that you are not alone, but don't let this uncertain time completely consume your life and steal your joy. Our lives may be drastically different than they were a few weeks ago. We may be missing a lot of the things that we enjoy, but we can still find the good in the world. We can wake up early and watch the sunrise, and we can stay up to watch it set. We can video call family, friends, and loved ones. We can watch something that makes us laugh! (I pulled out my old Seinfeld DVDs and I'm watching an episode or two a night.) The situation is less than ideal, far less than ideal, but it doesn't have to take everything from us. When Jesus was about to get arrested, which would lead to his painful and gruesome death, he said to his disciples, "Don't let your hearts be troubled." I'm thankful for my friend who told a story that was the opposite of what I was expecting and I'm hoping I, and all of us, can do the same thing now. Better days are ahead, someday.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris 

Last Published: April 1, 2020 12:02 PM