So I started this Catch listing all the things about the pandemic that have kept us isolated and turned us inward so I could contrast that with our current call to go out. But when I shared my opening paragraphs with Marti, she just laughed. I hate it when she does that; it means I missed it by a wide margin.
“What?” I asked incredulously.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about. The pandemic didn’t change your life hardly at all. You’re already isolated. You’ve been sheltering in place for years. You’ve been in your little office for so long, you couldn’t catch a cold if you tried. The only change for you was wearing a mask to the supermarket, and even then, you got to wear the Angels logo mask Patti made for you, so no big sacrifice.”
She had me. So if I’m going to write about breaking out of isolation, it’s not going to have anything to do with the pandemic; it’s going to have to do with me breaking out of me. Well that’s nothing new. That’s no pandemic; that’s normal life; that’s what I face every day. My own self-made isolation booth.
Am I the only one with this struggle? The millennials are already out. They’ve all gone global. Maybe that’s why they have so much anxiety.
In truth, we are all called out — out from hiding, out from isolation, out from loneliness into a life in the Spirit. But we have to step into it by faith. We are all so selfish and left to our own devices we would all just as soon stay that way, but God calls us out. He gave us His Spirit, but we must activate the Spirit by stepping out in faith.
It’s a lot like mild-mannered Clark Kent stepping into a phone booth and when he pulls open the door, a few seconds later, out steps Superman. “Ta-da!” This has been a metaphor many times in my life — so much so that we’ve considered putting up a phone booth somewhere in backyard that I could symbolically step into in a second and step out with the Spirit. It’s very much what Paul says in Ephesians 4:22-24 when he’d tells us to put off the old man and put on the new. It doesn’t just happen automatically; we have to activate the process by intentionally taking off our suit and tie so that the (super) Spirit can be activated in us. Superman is there (that’s the new life in the Spirit), we only have to lose the Clark Kent cover-up. Why not think of it as something super, because that’s what it is — something not of you or me, but something mightier than that — something of God. It’s all about stepping out of me, into me — the new me, that is, in Christ. And that’s pretty super.