One of the serendipities associated with this COVID-19 lockdown (and I’m sure there will be many, even though the whole thing is driving us nuts!) has been my wife Rebekah’s decision to send out a short devotional video-blog every morning.

It’s very basic. She puts her phone in a tripod, sips her coffee, then offers words of inspiration and encouragement—flowing from her personal devotions. We always share a short reading and prayer at breakfast, then dive in more deeply as individuals as we get our morning work under way.

Between us we read a large amount of scripture and cover a lot of devotional ground. This answers a question I get a lot: “How is it you can talk and write so easily about faith?”

You see, it’s a lot easier to improvise—or ‘riff’—when we’re already saturated with discipline and practice. If you ask me a question about fishing, I may stand there and shrug because I don’t have the background, the knowledge, the experience or the passion. But Jesus is a constant, a companion, a guide. It is no stretch to talk about someone you already talk with on a regular basis.

This time of uncertainty and of shutdown, of isolation and of shelter in place, provides us with the opportunity—the imperative—to retool spiritually. Maybe one great serendipity of this ‘hit the pause button’ time will be a world full with people of renewed faith, people who want to be ‘instant,’ to ‘be prepared,’ to ‘be ready’ in the way the New Testament writer suggests in 2 Timothy 4:2.

I love the way Eugene Peterson paraphrased this in The Message. “[Jesus] is about to break into the open with his rule, so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.”

Don’t ever quit. Keep engaged with your faith. Keep Jesus front and center. Then it won’t be so difficult—or feel so strange—to live the message out loud.

In love, and because of love – DEREK