Winston Churchill (on a US Postage Stamp)

I don’t think any of us would have believed that 2020 would be like ‘this’! The layers of complexity, creativity, decision making and re-thinking have been immense, and sometimes, as I am sure you will agree, we all just want an escape. While my athletic friends go running, and my creative friends go writing or painting or such, I am a reader. So – I go reading! This past month I devoured a book by Erik Larsen called “The Splendid and the Vile”, an historical fiction based on the first year in office of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His first year in office coincided with the start of the London Blitz, destruction of much of the RAF and devastating losses including Dunkirk. How did this leader, new to his job, trusted by few in the government, manage to move through that horrific time? I’ll leave you to read the book yourself, but I learned a lot about leadership in hard times.

Every day, Churchill had a routine. His involved a bath, cigars, and perhaps a bit too much drinking, but never the less, he kept to his routine despite being moved from place to place for safety.  He kept calm and hopeful in public at all times, connecting with those who had been bombed and hurt whenever he could do so. He relied on partners in his work who had unique gifts and trusted them to do what they did best. They did what he could not – cut through bureaucracy to build planes faster, develop a stronger relationship with the US, and keep supplies and materials flowing. He epitomized “stay calm, stay connected, and stay on course”, as well as leaning into the strengths of his people.

Like Churchhill, I pray you are staying calm by keeping to a routine, spiritual disciplines, treating yourself as a beloved child of God that you are!  I pray that you are staying connected with others, with your church friends, with your neighbors, and those who love you. I pray that you stay focused on your Christian walk, which includes things like worship, and prayer, and study, and service – these can all continue, despite being different from what we are used to. Also, please take the time to pray for all the leaders of your church, including yourself and your pastor and their family; offer them the same grace that God is offering you these days!

Blessings to you all!