在失聯的時刻重新聯結──RECONNECTING DURING TIMES OF DISCONNECTION

MONDAY MANNA

今年的新冠肺炎全球大流行在許多方面造成巨大損失。其中一項損失有時會被忽視或低估:就是由於強制停工和要求社交距離,使人們與重要的人際關係疏離了。我們當中的一些人比其他人更善於交際,但內向的人也需要與他人保持定期接觸,以幫助我們平衡生活。

因應病毒大流行的限制給我們帶來了一個新的問題:如何在失聯的時刻重新聯結。幸運的是,科技已經提供了部份解決方案。現在,我們可以使用數十年前無法使用的方式聯繫,例如:Skype、FaceTime以及最近的Zoom。

最近幾週,我參加了許多場Zoom會議。他們減輕了我對失去某些重要聯繫人的壓力。我最初的Zoom經驗與商業有關,但從那之後,這種技術資源幫助我與對我靈命健康很重要的朋友和團體保持聯絡。

在這些虛擬會議中,我經常想起希伯來書10章24-25節中的告誡:「又要彼此相顧,激發愛心,勉勵行善。你們不可停止聚會,好像那些停止慣了的人,倒要彼此勸勉,既知道(原文是看見)那日子臨近,就更當如此。」這段經文通常被用來鼓勵人們上教會,但是我們只要與心志相同的信徒建立聯繫,就可以得到鼓勵和「鞭策」。

在這些充滿挑戰的時刻,我們都需要得到鼓勵。電子會議不能取代面對面的交流,但絕對比僅僅通過電話聽到聲音要好。新聞報導常聚焦在確診及死亡人數上。但是卻很少有人談論或報導,一個人長時間獨處的影響。

隔離可能會造成極大的精神壓迫,被限制在很少與社會互動的小區域內也會帶來極大壓力。我們所有人都希望能自由的走動,走出家門的限制。我們也需要轉移注意力,特別需要把焦點從我們所面對的問題,以及無止盡的疫情報導上挪開。社會性的人類被迫維持社交距離時,過量的電視節目會損害我們的心理健康。

這就是為什麼線上會議——就算只有兩個人——對我們這麼有幫助。箴言27章17節說:「鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感(原文是磨朋友的臉)也是如此。」我們不僅需要友好的團契,也需要與其他人追求共同使命時,彼此互動產生創意摩擦。

但是,在這樣的時期,我們仍然不能忘記自己所需要最重要的關係:就是與上帝的聯結。無論是通過科技還是實體,能夠和其他人建立聯繫雖然美好,但我發現沒有任何比自己和神、還有神的話語相聯結的時光更好了。

對於那些想知道「我可以到哪裡找到持續活出有意義與價值的豐盛生命的答案?」的人,我強烈建議你們在聖經裡尋找答案。如果你已經和上帝失聯了,現在就是重建聯結的絕佳時刻。耶穌在馬太福音11章28節中呼籲:「凡勞苦擔重擔的人可以到我這裏來,我就使你們得安息。」祂正在等待我們每個人,就在今天單單的來到祂面前與祂聯結!

© 2020. Robert J. Tamasy 是企業巔峰: 給今日職場從箴言而來永恆的智慧 一書的作者。也與導師之的作者David A. Stoddard 合著Tufting Legacies。編輯多本著作包括Mike Landry. Bob的書: 透過苦難成長。Mike Landry. Bob的網站為www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com

反省與問題討論

  1. 新冠肺炎大流行如何影響你的人際關係?你是否因為無法像往常一樣與朋友和同事互動,壓力指數上升,甚至備感焦慮或恐懼?
  2. 你是否能利用通訊技術(例如Zoom,FaceTime或Skype)和你想保持聯繫的人聯絡?如果是,使用這些資源,特別是和面對面的互動相比時,有何利弊?
  3. 新冠肺炎大流行如何影響你與上帝的關係?你是否感覺需要更多與祂聯結?還是社交隔離也減弱了你和上帝的關係?請解釋你的答案。
  4. 經常讀聖經有什麼好處?哪些原因會阻礙你定期研讀聖經?

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多經文,請參考以下內容:(因經文篇幅較長,請參閱未列出的經文詩篇31:1-4、4:1-8 )

詩篇1篇1-6節
1:1 不從惡人的計謀,不站罪人的道路,不坐褻慢人的座位,
1:2 惟喜愛耶和華的律法,晝夜思想,這人便為有福!
1:3 他要像一棵樹栽在溪水旁,按時候結果子,葉子也不枯乾。凡他所做的盡都順利。
1:4 惡人並不是這樣,乃像糠秕被風吹散。
1:5 因此,當審判的時候,惡人必站立不住;罪人在義人的會中也是如此。
1:6 因為耶和華知道義人的道路;惡人的道路卻必滅亡。
詩篇119篇9-16節
119:9 少年人用甚麼潔淨他的行為呢?是要遵行你的話!
119:10 我一心尋求了你;求你不要叫我偏離你的命令。
119:11 我將你的話藏在心裏,免得我得罪你。
119:12 耶和華啊,你是應當稱頌的!求你將你的律例教訓我!
119:13 我用嘴唇傳揚你口中的一切典章。
119:14 我喜悅你的法度,如同喜悅一切的財物。
119:15 我要默想你的訓詞,看重你的道路。
119:16 我要在你的律例中自樂;我不忘記你的話。
傳道書4章9-12節
4:9 兩個人總比一個人好,因為二人勞碌同得美好的果效。
4:10 若是跌倒,這人可以扶起他的同伴;若是孤身跌倒,沒有別人扶起他來,這人就有禍了。
4:11 再者,二人同睡就都暖和,一人獨睡怎能暖和呢?
4:12 有人攻勝孤身一人,若有二人便能敵擋他;三股合成的繩子不容易折斷。
徒徒行傳2章42節
2:42 都恆心遵守使徒的教訓,彼此交接,擘餅,祈禱。


RECONNECTING DURING TIMES OF DISCONNECTION

By Jim Langley

This year’s global pandemic has taken a toll in many ways. One that is sometimes overlooked or underestimated is becoming disconnected from important personal relationships, due to shutdowns and the need for social distancing. Some of us are more sociable than others, but even introverted individuals need regular contact with other people, who help to keep our lives more balanced.

As a result, pandemic restrictions have presented us with a new problem: How to reconnect during times of disconnection. Thankfully, technology has provided some solutions. We can now connect in ways that were not available in decades past, such as Skype, FaceTime, and most recently, Zoom.

In recent weeks I have participated in a number of Zoom meetings; they have alleviated some of my stress associated with the loss of valued contacts. My initial Zoom experience was business-related, but since then this technological resource has enabled me to maintain connections with friends and groups that are vital for my spiritual well-being.

During these virtual meetings, I have often been reminded of the admonition in Hebrews 10:24-25: “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Often this passage is applied to church attendance, but any time we can connect with like-minded believers, we can be encouraged and “spurred on.”

We all need encouragement in these challenging times. Meeting electronically certainly cannot replace in-person, face-to-face encounters, but it definitely surpasses only hearing a voice over a phone. News reports about the coronavirus have concentrated on the numbers of people suffering from the virus and the death toll associated with it. Comparatively little has been said and written about the impact of being alone for extended periods of time.

Isolation can cause great mental distress, and being restricted in a small area with little social interaction can be extremely stressful. We all desire the freedom to roam a bit, to leave the confines of our homes. We need diversions, especially ones that take our focus off of our problems, as well as the relentless coverage of the seemingly unending pandemic. Too many television programs can take a toll on our mental well-being as social beings caught up in a social distancing dilemma.

This is why virtual meetings, even with just another person, can be so beneficial. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens another, so one man sharpens another.” We need not just friendly fellowship, but also the creative friction that comes from people interacting as they pursue a common mission.

During times like these, however, we must never forget how much we need connection with our most important relationship: with God. Being able to connect with other human beings is wonderful, whether it occurs via technology or in person. But I have found nothing can compare to the time I can spend with the Lord and the Word of God.

For those who wonder, “Where can I turn for answers I need to continue living an abundant life that’s meaningful and valued?” I would strongly recommend the Scriptures to find the answers you seek. If you have become disconnected with God, I cannot think of a better time than now to reconnect. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus Christ calls out, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He is waiting for each of us to simply come and connect with Him today!

© 2020 Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his relationship with God. His goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. A long-time member of CBMC, he started writing “Fourth Quarter Strategies” in 2014.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1.  In terms of relationships, how has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you? Have you found that your stress level, or even feelings of anxiety or fear, have increased in part due to the inability to interact as usual with friends and coworkers?
  2.  Have you been able to take advantage of communications technology, such as Zoom, FaceTime or Skype, to reach out to people you would like to stay in contact with? If so, what have been the positives – and negatives – of using those resources, especially compared to physical, face-to-face interactions?
  3. How has the impact of the pandemic affected your relationship with God? Have you sensed an increased need to connect with Him, or have the distractions related to enforced social restrictions actually inhibited your relationship with God? Explain your answer.
  4. What benefit have you received – if any – from reading the Bible on a regular basis? What are some obstacles that can make it difficult to read and study the Scriptures on a consistent basis?

NOTE: For more about what the Bible says about this topic, consider the following passages:
Psalms 1:1-6, 4:1-8, 31:1-4,19-20, 119:9-16; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Acts 2:42


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