I hope you're all doing well and keeping safe. I've been spending a lot of time in prayer for you all and just what is going on right now.
I mainly just wanted to update you with how FOCUS is moving forward. We're still working and meeting with students; we've just moved everything to online until further notice. We're trying to figure out a way to do our weekly large group meetings on a virtual platform, but the rest of our events for the semester have been cancelled or we're trying to think of adequate replacement options. If you have any questions or want more information, just let me know.
One of our alumnus wrote a prayer, and his sister, who is one of our UTD corefas this year, posted it to our corefa group chat for people who want to pray about what is going on, but don't know what to say or how to say it. I think it was really helpful, and I wanted to share it with you all.
Father, in this country we enjoy an abnormal degree of prosperity and stability. We confess we often idolize it. Mandy of us are unsettled to see the systems that afford us this comfort bend under the wight of the present situation. Many of us have not seen them bear this much strain in our short lives. We are used to hearing about tsunamis abroad and seeing mere ripples at our shores. But now we are seeing somewhat more than mere ripples, and this is a new learning experience for many of us.
In some ways it is disillusioning, but it is good to be relieved of an illusion. Behind the illusion, the truth is that any day could be the day that our worlds are upended by a disaster, be it private or public. Teach us to live each day with an honest awareness of that reality, and peace from your Spirit in the face of it. Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
This is not new to you. Teach us to put our hope in you rather than stbility and comfort. To you the nations are like a drop in the bucket; they are like dust on the scales. Everyone goes around like a mere phantom; in vain we rush about, heaping up wealth without knowing whose it will finally be. But now, Lord, what do we look for? Our hope is in you. You are our light and our salvation. What shall we fear?
In some of us this reveals idolatry, in some if reveals apathy towards other nations, in some it reveals a lack of trust in you, in some it reveals impatience and condescension towards others. Whatever it reveals in us, let us accept the revelation humbly and ask your forgiveness and cleansing.
Cultivate in our inner beings a new depth of quietness and peace. Help us not to get frazzles. Help us not to check our phones obsessively. Help us to distinguish meaningful developments from mere noise. Help us to think about it an appropriate amount and no more. Help us to determine the right precautions and take them not out of worry but out of love for our neighbors. May our peace be a true sign of your presence and care to the world around us.
We remain confident of this: we will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Further reading: Isaiah 40, Psalms 27, 39, 90