“Don’t Languish, Flourish”

The welcomed ending of the pandemic for many of us is not only an opportunity to restart our lives. It is also an opportunity to join those who are creating their best lives. 

This summer is an opportunity for people of faith to discover a new vision of flourishing that will not only enrich your own life but also make a difference in the lives of others who are still struggling to restart their lives from the deadly grip of the pandemic recession.

For those who have embraced a Christian faith, I have some very good news. Following Jesus was never intended to simply be a devotional add-on to our “real lives”. For those that have embraced this mistaken assumption, I have some very good news.

Jesus has alway invited his followers to embrace a vigorous whole-life faith that is focused on not only loving God, but also loving and making a difference in the lives of our neighbors… 7 million of whom face eviction from their homes come July 2021 as well as high levels of unemployment.

In 2020s Foresight: Three Vital Practices for Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change, I state, “The Jesus who rides on donkey’s back comes announcing the good news of the empire of the mustard seed. The even better news is that God can use our individual lives to bring real change in the lives of others…”. (2020s Foresight, 111)

Al Tizon, who heads Serve Globally in the Covenant Church, “challenges readers in his book Whole and Reconciled to discover in scripture an alternative vision of the good life of God that is found more in making a difference in the lives of others than in pursuing a life of acquisition.” (2020s Foresight, 111-112)

Even secular research documents people who are discovering a more satisfying way of life in making a difference in the lives of others. Dr. Vander Welle and his research team sampled 13,000 adults. They found that participants who volunteered two hours a week “experienced higher levels of happiness, optimism and purpose in life, compared to those who did not volunteer at all.” Perhaps Jesus not only calls to care for others. Perhaps the creator God designed us to flourish most fully when we take time every week when we find ways to make a difference in the lives of others.

Are you ready to join those who are fed up with languishing and are ready to join others in a little compassionate flourishing this summer?

In 2020s Foresightwe invite readers to join those who are interested, as followers of Jesus, to join a QUEST FOR THE BEST LIFE group. (2020s Foresight, 114-130)

Would you like to start a summer QUEST FOR THE BEST LIFE group in your community or congregation? Quest for the Best has four simple steps to enable you to join those who are already replacing languishing with flourishing:

  1. As we slowly begin to get the worst of the pandemic behind us, we encourage you, and everyone in your group, to identify and list the specific barriers that are keeping you from connecting to God and reaching out to your neighbors.
  2. Work with others in the group to identify new ways the Creator God can use your ordinary lives to both be a difference and make a difference to those still struggling to overcome the pandemic recession.
  3. Discuss how you and others in the group can help one another to shift from consumer-focused lives to lives that are flourishing as you create ways to express God’s compassionate purposes in your community.
  4. Work with your neighbors that are struggling to both identify innovative ways to respond that reflect the compassion of Jesus and enable neighbors to shift from languishing to flourishing too.

In the article, “Need a Reset? Take the 10-Day Fresh Start Challenge”, the author makes an important observation, “While some people did develop healthy new habits during the pandemic lockdowns, it’s not to late if you spent your pandemic days just getting by. The good news is that the end of the pandemic is probably a more opportune time for meaningful change in our own lives than when you were experiencing the heightened anxiety of lockdowns.”

“I think many of us have realized during the pandemic that some of the things we were doing before COVID-19 weren’t the kind of things leading to flourishing in our lives”, said Dr. Santos to the New York Times.

For people of Christian faith, summer is a wonderful, opportune time to refocus our lives around what we know matters most. It is an opportunity to join those traveling from languishing to flourishing. It is an opportunity to create our best lives in the way of Jesus. It is an opportunity to join those that are creating ways to enable others that are still dealing with the pandemic recession to become self-reliant and experience a little flourishing too.

Why don’t you consider hosting a QUEST FOR THE BEST LIFE group in your home or church this summer as the first step in creating a flourishing future for you and your loved ones? And also imagine the difference it could make in working with friends and neighbors who are still struggling with the pandemic recession.

Let us know if a QUEST FOR THE BEST LIFE group not only enables you and yours loved ones but also struggling friends and neighbors to discover the gift of a new life of flourishing too.

Please contact me and let us know how your QUEST FOR THE BEST LIFE group goes for you or if you have any questions. We would love hear your stories and struggles.

Check out the book I wrote with my friend, Dwight Friesen, for more resources to enable you and your friends to create you best lives in this time of opportunity: 2020s Foresight: Three Vital Practices for Thriving in a Decade of Accelerating Change. It is available on Amazon right now at a reduced price and has questions at the end of each chapter so it can be used as a study book.

We will send you a free 45-minute webinar to help you start your study group. I am also available to join one of the final sessions of your study group by way of Zoom at no charge.  

Adapted from the original post on NewChangemakers.com

This is a three part series on NewChangemakers.com. The third and final post will look at innovative change-making for those who are still struggling with the pandemic recession.

It’s not too late to register for Making Time for a Sacred Summer retreat with Lilly Lewin and Christine Sine on June 5, 2021.