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나는 이스라엘 백성들에게 많은 공감을 느끼고 있었다. 그들은 이집트에서 온, 활력과 흥분, 의기 넘치고 겁에 질린 느낌.홍해를 가로질러 경주한 후 아드레날린에 매달려 있으며, 적의 파도 아래에서 휩쓸리는 모습을 지켜본 후 승리를 느낍니다.그리고 그들은 사막에 도착하여 모세에게 그들의 두려움없는 지도자, 이 기적적인 일을 관리한 야훼에게 직선을 가졌던 자, 모세를 바라보며 말하길 좋아요!다음은 뭐야?계획이 뭐야??”그리고 모세는 그들을 바라본다.그리고 슈러그.그리고 사람들은... 우리가 이런 상황에서 이스라엘 백성을 판단해야 한다는 것을 압니다오 너희 작은 믿음이여!그러나 나는 너에게 말해야 해, 나는 그들을 위해 느낀다.계획은 훌륭합니다.지도자들이 계획을 세우고 싶습니다.특히, 이 시점에서, 저는 지도자들이 국경이 언제 어떻게 재개되는지에 대한 계획을 갖고 싶습니다.내가 아는 한, 그러한 것은 존재하지 않습니다.그리고 나는 왜 그런지 잘 모르겠습니다.어떤 사람들 위원회는 어딘가에 앉아서 우리가 재개하는 단계 1, 그리고 2 단계를 위해 명중해야 할 기본 지표를 알아낼 수 있습니다. 그리고 그들은 그 단계가 어떻게 생겼는지 알아낼 수 있습니다.그러나 아마도 이것은 실제로 매우 어렵습니다. 왜냐하면 지금 당장은 그러한 것이 존재하지 않기 때문입니다.그래서 1년 넘게 우리 가족을 보지 못했고, 1년 넘게 집에 가지 않았고, 사랑하는 사람들을 1년 넘게 안고 있는 사람들은 더 이상 아무것도 할 수 없습니다. 우리가 그렇게 할 수 있을지 궁금해합니다.그리고 매월 21일에 국경 폐쇄가 연장 될 때마다, 나는 조금 더 슬프고 훨씬 더 좌절감을 느낍니다.계획이 있어야 해저는 우리가 일을 향해 일하고 있다는 것을 알아야 합니다. 이제 — 저는 총재와 초연, 대통령, 총리들이 그들의 뒷마당에서 일어나는 일들로 그들의 손을 충분히 가지고 있다는 것을 알고 있습니다. 그리고 국경에 대해 징징징징 하는 것은 아마도 온타리오 양쪽의 코비드 사건을 감안할 때 약간 이기적일 것입니다.그리고 미시간.우리 지도자들은 화재를 내고 엄청난 비율의 위기를 다루려고 노력하고 있습니다.그것은 내가 부러워하지 않는 직업이며, 그 중 일부가 어떻게 처리되었는지에 대한 좌절감에 관계없이, 우리를 걸은 사람들은 나의 깊은 감사와 존경을 가지고 있습니다. 그러나 위기에 대응하는 동안에도 리더가 지금 해야 할 일의 일부가 기대되고 있는지 궁금합니다.그리고 비전을 던지세요.그리고 희망의 언어로 말하기.희망의 모든 것을 프레임. 항상 다른 방향으로 돌아 다니는 것처럼 느낍니다.“백신이 효과적이라고 보입니다!하지만 우리는 아직 예방 접종을 받은 사람들이 바이러스를 전염시킬 수 있는지 모릅니다.”“수백만 명의 사람들이 J와 J에 잘 반응했습니다!하지만 6명이 혈전을 받았기 때문에 잠시 멈추고 있습니다.”나는 그것을 얻는다.우리는주의의 측면에서 오해하고 싶습니다.많은 알려지지 않은 것들이 있으며 우리는 현명하고 조심해야합니다.아무도 보안과 결여의 잘못된 감각으로 대중을 유혹하고 싶어하지 않습니다.우리는 우리가 일을 진지하게 받아들일 때에도 규칙을 따르지 않는다는 것을 증명했습니다. 그러나 나는 도움을 줄 수는 없습니다. 희망으로 말하고 미래에 대한 비전을 던지는 데 더 많은 시간을 할애한다면 이야기를 뒤집는 것이 사실 우리에게 더 많은 동기를 부여할 것입니다.만약 우리가 적어도 우리가 어떤 방향으로 일하고 있는지 알고 있다면, 만약 어떤 목표가 있다면, 계획이 있다면, 더 기꺼이 버클을 내리겠다면 말입니다.백신을 둘러싼 이야기가 예전보다 훨씬 더 기념적이고 희망적이었다면 얼마나 많은 사람들이 백신을 얻지 못할까 걱정될까요?이야기가 더 있다면 “이 얼마나 놀라운 봐” 덜 “여기에 잘못 될 수있는 모든 것이 있습니다”?그리고 그것은 궁금해합니다... 우리는 종종 너무 많은 시간을 가지고 있고 잘못 될 수있는 것에 집중하고, 미래에 대한 희망적인 비전을 던지는 데 충분한 시간을 할애하지 않습니까?그리고 그것이 변화를 이루기 위해 함께 일하는 우리의 능력을 저해합니까?도전적이고 논란이 많은 문제에 대한 우리의 대화가 더 많은 희망과 적은 두려움, 더 많은 비전과 덜 불안감, 더 나아진 추진력과 적은 현재의 비난으로 구성되어 있다면 더 많은 사람들로부터 더 많은 견인력을 얻을까요?분노를위한 공간이 있어야합니다. 그리고 애도와 정직.그러나 이야기가 끝나는 곳이 너무 자주입니까?나는 당신이 어떻게 생각하는지 궁금합니다.그것은 교회에서, 나쁜, 추한, 죄에 집중하는 것은 믿을 수 없을만큼 쉬울 것입니다, 대신 우리는 미래의 비전, 종말론적 상상력, 희망에 의해 우리가 하는 모든 것을 프레임하도록 부름 받았습니다.예수와 바울과 요한은 이렇게 말합니다.“그럼 이제 어떻게 살 수 있니?”세미나리에서 우리는 항상 설교를 끝내고, 항상 희망으로 끝나는 것을 배웠습니다.한편으로는 그 희망이 가장 진실한 진실이기 때문입니다.그러나 나는 사람들이 두려움이나 죄책감보다 희망에 더 잘 반응하기 때문에 또한 생각합니다.희망은 항상 더 나은 동기 부여가 될 것입니다.나는 지금 약간의 희망을 사용할 수 있습니다.많은 것들에 대해서.나는 계획을 사용할 수 있었다.

Laura de Jong

Laura de Jong serves as pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Grand Haven, Michigan.

16 Comments

  • Joan Bouwma says:

    How I agreed with you! I always do better with a plan as it gives me something positive to think about, to do, to build on. A plan gives me a sense of control when everything around me seems out of control. A plan gets me through most days. New of the good that is happening in our churches, in our community, in our country, and in the world usually takes a back seat to the stories of violence, chaos, and dysfunction. But God is at work in all of us and we need to recognize and celebrate how he is working out his plan to bring his kingdom to this earth. He has a plan.

  • mstair says:

    Grateful for your reminder of folks yearning for home and family …
    I will offer prayer for resolution.

    Your thoughts brought up this realization … our Government “by the people” currently has nearly half the “government” (45%) with no vaccine and no plans to get one …
    Their plan?

    Resolve nothing, wait for the vindication that it led to damaged DNA, and then celebrate their rightness?
    Watch the other robotic 1/2 half of the country blindly succumb to the compromise of liberty and then delight in their own asymptomatic infection?
    Quietly acquiesce to eventual world-wide realization that – like cancer, there are some diseases that never give way to herd immunity?

    It seems Our Lord has another way …

    “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Phillipians 2)

  • John vanStaalduinen says:

    Since this is a political opinion piece, my comment is: how is the Biden Church working out compared to the Trump Church?

    • Laura de Jong says:

      John,
      This is a political piece only inasmuch as I’m wondering what the role of any political leader is (or any kind of leader for that matter). Nothing is pointed at one specific person. Nor am I trying to conflate politics with the church…simply querying if the same “hope framework” that exists in the church could or should carry over into our political conversations, not because our ultimate hope rests in politics, but because hope generally prompts better responses from people than fear.

    • George Vink says:

      John, if, and it’s always an if, if I’m reading your comment correctly, it’s not helpful!

      • John vanStaalduinen says:

        I think you read it correctly, the Biden Church is failing miserable and spreading doom and gloom news Where as the Trump Church was always trying to spread optimistic news. By the way, I learned there was a Trump Church right here on this ‘reformed’ journal blog, very informative.

  • Rodney Haveman says:

    Laura,
    I appreciate this because I am always despereate for a plan, but one thing I’ve learned about myself is I want that plan because it gives me a false sense of control. If we have a plan, then we can control what happens and where we’re going, but what if we’re not in control? What if control is an illusion?
    The second thing I’ve realized is people desire truth over a plan. We can handle what’s happening if you tell us what you know at this time, what you don’t, and how much it could change in the future. In other words, you’re working on it, but you can’t guarantee anything because you’re not in control.
    I also think that this truth requires a consistent integrity. You tell the truth over and over and over again, because when it counts, when people need to trust you with their lives, they will because you’ve been honest with them as much as we can expect or hope.
    Finally, you are 100% right, hope is more powerful than fear or guilt, but hope cannot be a wish or a dream. It must be real, honest, and full of integrity. Only then can hope drive us to a future that we can believe in.
    Thanks

    • Laura de Jong says:

      Thanks Rodney. I’ve been wondering along those same lines – how do we speak in hope without resorting to false optimism. But to your point about truth-telling, what strikes me about the pandemic/vaccine narrative is that there are two ways to tell falsehoods. On the one hand, the seriousness of the pandemic could be and was gravely downplayed. But I think the effectiveness of the vaccine, and the hope that that gives, has been downplayed as well. We’ve tended to focus on the negative side effects or all the unknowns, even as there is overwhelming data that tells a story of incredible success. So how do we measure the truth of the unknown against the truth of the known? Or balance caution with hope?

      • Rodney Haveman says:

        Thanks Laura,
        I agree. In the beginning we (larger culture) undersold the severity of the virus (even as those who were experts told us how severe it could be) and now we undersell the achievement of the vaccine (again, even as the experts tell us how marvelous it is). I wonder why that is. It seems that the first action comes from wishful thinking, maybe from all of us … It won’t come here. It won’t be too long. etc. And then we spent so much time trying to make folks see how serious it was/is, we never turned to the good news or hope that is available to us now with simple action in getting a vaccine. The media doesn’t help (if it bleeds it leads).
        I wonder if we sometimes spend so much time trying to emphasize the seriousness of sin in our church that we struggle to turn to the good news of hope, eschatology, etc.

  • George Vink says:

    Laura,
    As someone who shares particularly the need to have a more open Canadian border, we’ve gone ahead and made plans for a late June “crossing no matter what…..” It gives us a sense of planning, expectation, hope…………even if then it’ll get dashed or delayed. Thanks for your thoughts and felt though that last night’s address to congress injected some hope if we’d get beyond whatever political blindnesses adhering to our observations.

  • RLG says:

    Thanks, Laura, for sharing your hope and desire for a plan. I agree that focusing on the negative is often a downer, although often necessary. But let’s lean toward the positive. As to a plan, we certainly are not at a loss, for a plan. As we saw last night our president has a great plan that the rich will pay for. Let’s ask them. As to the church’s eschatological plans, we have an abundance of them. There’s the a-mill plan, the post mil plan, the historic pre mil plan, the dispensational pre mil plan, the pan mil plan. Just pick one and be happy. It’s too bad the church has a hard time agreeing to the same plan and hope. Maybe that’s why people outside of the church sees the church as such a negative force in our society. What a conundrum for the church.

  • JK says:

    Laura for your thoughts and questions,
    As I look to this, I see 2 things.
    – in the Church, we understand grace, salvation, and look expectantly to perfection in heaven while looking and experiencing God sightings and his presence on this side of eternity. Ending worship in a moment of grace and hope is the best thing we can do to reset, gain strength, and bolster ourselves to the onslaught we will experience as we walk out the doors. Thank you for continuing to do this every week! Yes, this is where our attention and efforts need to stay focused
    – the press and much of our political leadership understand that in the (sinful) world, blood and gore sells. It sells media, it sells fear, and it sells leadership crafting more ways to keep or assume more control, and it sells short term memory via manipulating the emotions and cranking up the drama. For the press, it sells the chaos, and for the political world, too often it sells a replacement savior. They often are their own worst enemies, but they both understand the control aspect and that they need need each other. Our political leaders may have good intentions and will try to sell some optimism, but the reality is the plan is so lofty, we begin to be skeptical from the start and easily dismiss or forget the priorities laid out.

    In short, it is a power struggle – within ourselves and within our institutions – but it isn’t really about us.

    I realize that this may not be super helpful on the surface, but I have found that I too was exasperated until I began to understand it for what it is and not put added credence into it. My education was in Political Science and Economics. I used to get super charged about the theory, and the rhetoric. It took God rocking my world to get me to surrender and let it all go. (One of my daughters went 2 rounds with cancer before 12 years old. She grown and married now – in good health, but the lessons learned as a Dad haven’t dimmed.)

    I don’t have a plan for you specifically. But if helpful, this has become my plan. As I age, it has become more about observation and letting go. I find that as participate in what God has called me to and watch, I marvel more at God’s grace in my life and also the Devil’s desperate battle plans. The war being waged in front of us and in us, is truly epic and so far beyond us! It is most easily seen in our press, politics and sadly – too often in our churches. To keep from being consumed by these institutions, I find I must focus more on gratitude for what is immediately in front of me, followed immediately by finding more ways to show dignity to those around me. This has not been easy.
    Don’t get me wrong, I still have ideals and preferred outcomes. I am not pessimistic, throwing in the towel or slowing my political involvement. But for inner peace, I have found that I can look only to the evidence of God transforming me, his work with his Church and people, and focus less on our institutions – for none satisfy. It is a matter of letting it go and watching God work. I may not always get it at the time, but I am willing to let it go, and thus, in time be good with it.

  • Gerrit Van Dyke says:

    I am bothered by fact that there so many people who will not get vaccinated for various reasons including that they think the whole thing is a hoax. How can a government plan when dealing with irrational behavior. Both presidents worked to get us all vaccinated but somehow haven’t reached a lot of people on the necessity of that. The wrench in the works is that every new case of CoVid-19 is another chance for a mutation that is immune to the vaccine. The CDC does not want that to happen so we need to start all over.

  • Paul DeVries says:

    Thanks Laura, great article. I particularly like the lines, “And Moses looks at them. And shrugs. And the people don’t like that.” I feel like I do a lot of shrugging these days. If God had a plan for Moses and his ancient people, I guess he must have a plan for me and the church today too.

    I am going to share portions of your article with my Council tonight.

    Thanks.

    Paul DeVries

    BTW, when you finally get a plan, please share it. To quote a wise woman, “I could use a plan.”

  • Daniel Meeter says:

    Laura, I don’t know what to think about this post. On the one hand, Biden has been attempting to present a vision, a plan, and hope. And many people are responding. I may add that people responded to Trump because he too presented a vision and hope, (of a sort I did not like) though only the rudiments of a plan. I think Hillary Clinton failed to present any of them, and I don’t expect any from Justin Trudeau. But my church experience has made me very wary of “visionary leaders”. They have done my denomination very little good. Maybe it was very good that Moses had no plan. (By the way, let me recommend Zora Neale Hurston’s flawed but excellent book, Moses Man of the Mountain.)

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