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/ 6 May 2020

Out of Office Reply: Working from Home for Jesus

 

It has now been a few weeks since the national lockdown began and I expect that you too have experienced the mountain of cancellations, endless video calls in pyjamas and isolating at home in less than ideal conditions. Added to this the medical and financial uncertainty plus the possibility of kids running in on your zoom meetings and things can seem pretty overwhelming. If you are someone who is fortunate to still have a job at this time, it’s likely you may not feel like it…

 

So how can we work well from home as followers of Jesus?

Well, firstly we need to accept that it’s unprecedented and it’s hard. There is no manual for this and God knows all the pressures we are under to stay afloat. The projects we had been working on so hard may have to slide or be shelved for a while and ambitions put on hold.  If you are someone like me who likes to be organised, then you may also need to accept that life will continue to be a mess for a while. People are forgiving anyway and don’t mind seeing your home life in the background of your conference calls. Our God is gracious too and does not demand 100% from us all the time, especially right now as He knows our weaknesses. In fact, Jesus taught that weakness is a positive thing:

 

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

(2 Cor. 12:9)

 

When we are weak, we are forced to rely on God’s strength and notice what He is doing. We can focus on being with Him rather than doing. Of course, we still need to get things done but work can be achieved at a slower pace, mindful of our status in the grace of God.

Remember It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

In my daily devotions I have been struck by the idea of daily bread and how the Israelites were given Manna in the desert, while they waited for the promised land. They were frustrated and impatient, but God gave them exactly what they needed for each day if only they would trust Him – and He does the same for us. We need to pray for resilience and perseverance each day as dearly loved children of God, resting in the loving arms of our heavenly father, knowing that He provides everything we need.

 

5 practical ways to cope

 

1/ Reliance

Working at home can be tough both when there is no one else there to motivate us or when our loved ones are there to distract us.  Our first defence must be to rely on God in prayer. Daily prayer for the fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control – these will get us through conflicts with ourselves and others.

 

2/ Rhythms

We can also combat the chaos by developing daily rhythms. These can include taking regular breaks, rituals such as making a cup of tea at the same time each day, putting daily prayer alerts in the diary or praying through your work emails each morning. Even wearing work clothes during office hours can help our brains cope with the changes.

 

3/ Rewards

Maybe you could pepper your day with a couple of treats to look forward to and help with motivation for the times when it’s particularly hard. A tasty snack, a short walk alone in the sun and sharing mealtimes with others (even over Zoom if we live alone) are good things to look forward to.

 

4/ Ring!

It can be exhausting ringing others continually but also a lifeline for everyone at the moment. Zoom is particularly exhausting so use the phone too. Connectedness is vital is sustaining work patterns and important for our well-being as humans. Going out of our way to ring colleagues who don’t know Jesus may be well-appreciated too.

 

5/ Rest

We have to find rest mentally and physically as our bodies face intense pressure. Don’t graze on your work all day – switch on and switch off. Taking regular breaks and being kind to ourselves is crucial to not only our well-being but the well-being of others. Rest in the arms of your loving heavenly father.

 

As Easter people we can give our burdens to Jesus, just as He asked us to. Let’s keep this at the front of our minds in this season and claim that peace for ourselves amidst the chaos.


About Lawrence Olsworth-Peter

Lawrence is the Creative Lead for Ambassadors, which is a Capital Vision 2020 project aimed to equip people more effectively to live and speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their everyday lives.

Read more from Lawrence Olsworth-Peter

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