‘What’s different this time?”

As we enter a second national lockdown I’ve been asking myself this question, “What’s different this time?”

As I listen and look at our culture, social media, people I know, I’ve been left with the feeling that some things are very different and some things are exactly the same.

So what’s different?

We seem more tired than before…

Let’s face it, we are exhausted! Mental health and well being, anxiety, stress, uncertainty and decision fatigue have all taken their toll. Then there’s our amazing health and social care workers bracing themselves for the usual winter pressures plus a second wave of Covid 19!

We sound more angry than before…

First time round we rallied round our leaders now there is disillusionment and distrust, plus so much personal loss and pain which is working it’s way out in the way we speak about, and to, others.

Our anger has to go somewhere, just like our other emotions, but we need to be wary this time around…

We appear more divided than before…

Politically the UK and the USA seem more divided than ever, the narrative and the tone of that narrative seem to back this up. I have to say I don’t see this in the church in the same way! I’m encouraged by greater collaboration and “cheering one another on” than I’ve ever known in 30 years of church leadership!

So this time time around how should we respond?

Establish healthy rhythms – we discovered this treasure in lockdown 1.0 let’s go there again!

‘Always do what your future self will thank you for’ Lance Witt

Don’t let your emotions be the boss of you – there have been times I’ve nearly sent that email in anger, almost posted on social media in frustration, been on the verge of making a decision I’d live to regret, why? I almost allowed my emotions to be the boss of me!

There’s a difference between a travel agent and a tour guide, one tells you how to get there the other can take you! Emotions make terrible tour guides, they can’t take us to where we want to go….so…..

“Pause before you post”

“Make decisions today that you won’t come to regret tomorrow”

(For more on this check out https://youtu.be/PZrBK3Ne3so)

So what’s the same this time around?

Every crisis provides opportunity

I’ve lost track of how many ‘RE’ words I’ve used this year but they’re all good!


We now have another opportunity to go deeper in our relationship with God, connect more meaningfully with other people and to be the church Jesus dreamed about, gave His life for, builds by His spirit and is coming back for one day!

Every season is always followed by the next season

To be honest, I was so frustrated when lockdown 2.0 was announced, I miss people, traveling, the ability to future plan, parties, concerts and so much more….BUT what is true is that this season will pass!! It may pass like a kidney stone but it will pass!

We need some telescope perspective as opposed to microscope perspective!

One perspective looks down at the here and now, it’s forensic it’s all about detail…

The other perspective is long range, it looks beyond, it looks forward, it knows our story is rooted in eternity and that this season is a chapter, it’s not the end…

“We are in a scene from a movie and the director has told us how the movie will end”

(For more on this check out https://youtu.be/tQlguj77YGE)

Every day God is at work…

We experienced this before and we will experience it again…why?

Hebrews 13 v.8 MSG, ‘For Jesus doesn’t change – yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself’

So what could our response be as we head into lockdown 2.0?

Trust Him…

Believe Him…

Encounter Him…

Seek Him…

Join Him….

‘Unusual times mean unusual opportunities’ – Andy Stanley

So what’s different this time around? Maybe you could be…..I hope I am.

12 thoughts on “‘What’s different this time?””

  1. Margaret Morcom

    This time I’m definitely more tired and aching to be hugged, who knows when that can happen. However this time I am part of church and my relationship with God is re-instated (another re’!) – last time a distant longing, today a reality. Just got to get my head out of the rear view mirror and have the courage to reimagine with Jesus

  2. Karen Bridgewater

    This time found I have heard of more people I know either affected with the virus or is isolating as a precaution. In all probability this is no difference from the first wave but fir me it is personal this time.
    One great thing about it all is having Christian connections who had kept me focused, felt loved and supported.
    God is holding us all in the palm of his hands and his hands are big enough for anything and anybody. He sees all pain, heartache, anxiety and need but he takes it all from us and ensures we are loved and peaceful.
    So what’s different this time??? Nothing because with God on our side everything can be laid on him for inner peace and strength.

  3. Great thoughts.
    The economy is more trashed than last time and fear is greatly increased. hence people are reacting out of fear and anxiety as well as cynicism and polarised political opinions.
    this time round we need even more grace to help us cope and to help us respond with grace to others.
    One other thing that is different- Villa have learned that football is about scoring more goals than your opponents and they are doing it well!

  4. Fab summery of the times we’re living in and how we should be real, humble and open to reflect God’s light into the people we are sharing this life with… Been Really encouraged that God’s timeline is not how we would plan things out and when I look in the Bible, time after time, Gods people have to wait for healing, release, miracles and for God to move sometimes days some times decades… I’m practicing being Still when all inside me wants resolution, now more than ever I am seeking His pace for my race 🙂

  5. This is so good Leon. I feel it’s completely different this time. I’m on a letter from government again as I am on immuno suppressants. Eon have been completely different this time they won’t even furlough me. They’ve just put me in sick… Which is stressful, but I know I am doing the right thing staying at home.
    I was only saying yesterday that it doesn’t feel like lockdown… (it may be because I have moved and live on a. Main road! Sunday afternoon it was so busy still there were so many cars on the road..
    It was interesting what you said about conspiracies… for here and the USA. Over here… I think people are making up their own minds as to the level of risk and letting their own political views stop them from doing lockdown rules.

    In USA I loved what Joe Biden said about unity… no red/blue states and that opposition does not have to be the enemy. It gave me a sense of hope, so I imagine Americans feeling comfort by that too.

    Anyways… that’s enough of my waffle

    Take care… can’t wait for Indian reunion meal 🥘


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