Fasting from the Intuitive

During the coronavirus pandemic we are being asked to do so many things that are counterintuitive to what has been our preferred norm. No concerts, plays, theme parks, or sporting events. No restaurants. No cruises. No church. No school. No parties. No hugs or handshakes. No gatherings above 500, then it was 250, then 50, 25, and now no more than 10 people in immediate proximity. Keep your distance. Stay home if you’re sick. Don’t cough or sneeze unless into your arm.

Being forced into a fast is rarely preferred. Normally we choose our fasts according to what seems most dominant and in greatest need of pause. Today we are in the midst of a culturally mandated fast. And all for the good of the most vulnerable, which is reason enough to join an abundance of wisdom and caution.

What part of this pandemic is most troubling to you? Are you fearful of the disease? Or of the dis-ease? Concerned about the health of loved ones? Or skeptical about the need to panic or even prepare? Worried about the stock market and your/our financial future? Not liking the social distancing? Or is it the government’s evolving demands?

We seem to be all over the map in our response. Some are approaching it with grace and patience. Others are selective or oblivious. Still others are filled with fear and anxiety. We need to recognize and honor one another in spite of our opinions. Bottom line: we need to flatten the curve, do all we can to spare lives, optimize the medical community, and pray for God’s protection, mercy, strength, and healing.

It’s timely that we’re also in the season of Lent. A time to fast, to be humbled, to let go of ourselves and look to the greater good. The call today is for compassion, humility, grace, and patience. All of which are incredibly counterintuitive to our common humanity. But, rise to the occasion we must, and will, and we will eventually look back and reflect, reconsider, and recalibrate for the days ahead.

Fasting from the intuitive has become our shared mission…“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)

May it be so! Amen.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.