I’ve heard a few people suggest that we should remove March from our calendars since the last two have not been very fun here in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa—2019 floods and 2020 COVID19. And after being involved in a series of tough decisions to cancel a host of events, I have concluded that American’s are being asked to either cancel or postpone 2020. My oldest grandchild will hopefully graduate from high school this year; however, the May 23rd graduation ceremony that is on my calendar will not happen as scheduled. I heard on the radio that 2020 UNL graduates will be invited to “walk” with the 2021 graduates next year. We were going to do an “all-family” vacation in Florida the week before the SBC Convention, but both of those events have been canceled.
As I have reflected on the host of cancellations, I found it interesting that the first events to be canceled were major sporting events: March Madness and the 2020 College World Series. I’m wondering what God might be trying to tell us? We have become a nation where we have pursued sports, personal pleasure, and the accumulation of possessions at an ever-increasing almost frantic pace. If we were honest with ourselves we would admit that these things have become our gods. MAYBE God is trying to redirect our focus and energy. Maybe God telling a nation that believes we can continue to living at an ever-increasing frantic pace that it is time to slow down; to be still and to know that He is God.
As we are forced to change our daily life patterns, let me suggest that we don’t swap one hectic and harried lifestyle for another one where we just hop from one on-line meeting to the next. My prayer is that we will be able to reprioritize our time, energy, and resources to put more emphasis upon God, upon our marriages, upon our relationships with family and friends, and upon identifying and engaging in what God has uniquely called and equipped us to do.
Mark Elliott, DoM
Mark is in his twenty-seventh year of serving as an Associational Missions Strategist. He served in western Iowa for almost eight years, and is in his nineteenth year with HCN. He has a passion to see pastors and church leaders grow in their abilities to lead their churches. He continues to have a heart and desire to see new churches planted and God continues to use his strategic thinking skills in this area. Mark also has a wealth of experience in helping churches clarify who God has created them to be, and what they can do best to reach their community. He has had ample opportunities to help churches in times of conflict, and has seen God do exciting things to restore a spirit of harmony, returning churches to a time of fruitfulness. He also helps churches in transition by working with search committees. Mark and Phyllis who were married in November of 2018 have four children and three grandchildren. They will enjoy their combined 87th anniversary in just a few days.