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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that 2021 started off like a hangover from the excesses of 2020. COVID and politics have consumed our attention for the better part of 2020 and there seems no end in sight for 2021. Just as we thought we had seen it all, something more outrageous happens. As a nation we appear to have lost our compass. It is as though as a nation we are flying blindly into a thunderhead where there will likely be very dangerous turbulence. The battle lines are clearly drawn. For the first time in my lifetime, Americans view other Americans as mortal enemies.
A friend of mine recently lamented, “this has got to be one of the worst time in history to be alive.” I don’t know that I agree. I shared with him that this may be one of the greatest times in history to be alive.
Let me explain. I admit our country looks ominously divided. Those who follow the stock market report that storm clouds are building for an unstable economic outlook. And if you are a Christian, you should have noticed your freedom of speech and your religious liberty are being challenged. I don’t deny these things. But could it be that God created us – our generation – for such a time as this? Every generation faces crises and turmoil, ours is not the exception. In chaotic times every generation has its heroes who understood the times and knew what to do.
In times of suffering there are an abundance of opportunities to bless people; to comfort people; to pray for people; and to lead people to the Lord. Look for those opportunities to be used by God.
Psalm 11:3 asks the question, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?”
We are watching the foundations which our nation was founded upon begin to crumble. However, we are not powerless victims of the times. We can make our lives count. We can make a positive difference in a very negative world. Were we born for such a time as this?
It is important to keep our eyes on Jesus because as Psalm 11:5-7 says, “The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.”
In every period of crisis there are opportunities to create positive change to the structures and institutions of our cities. All of the city systems, including political systems, are run by people who have views on how best to do one thing or another. As sincere as our leaders’ intentions may be, if the solutions they try to implement are not aligned with God’s ways, those solutions will have unintended consequences. Our own life experience would validate that some consequences are severely negative and hurt the very people they are trying to help.
So what are the righteous to do?
In January 2020, 4Tucson invited leaders in the community to our first Movement Day Tucson. Movement Day is a collaboration of city leaders who want to work together to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test solutions to city problems. At Movement Day Tucson 2020, city leaders met together and collectively agreed to a goal of reducing poverty in Tucson from 22.1% to 18% in three years. From the reports we are receiving from around the city, it appears that the effects of COVID actually increased poverty in our city by at least 1%.
On January 22, 2021, at Movement Day Tucson 2021, we will have two areas of focus. One, we will reconvene the city leaders who have worked together all year to reduce poverty. We will review the data and report on outcomes from 2020. We will use the same process to prototype solutions and test results.
And two, we will launch our second city initiative, Economic Opportunity and Development. At Movement Day 2021 city leaders will empathize, ideate, prototype and test ideas over the next twelve months to increase economic 0pportunity and economic development in Tucson.
The economic health of our city impacts everybody’s life. It impacts our wages, our quality and quantity of work opportunities, our freedom to create new businesses and our work environment. It impacts the quality of life of every citizen in the city. At Movement Day we will collectively set a three-year economic goal for our city.
Why Movement Day? Because we are not be satisfied with the status quo; we believe God desires more for us; we believe God is stirring something great in our city; and we believe God wants you to be a part of it.
I would like to personally invite you to get involved in making positive change in our city.You can be a part of Movement Day Tucson 2021 by registering today at the link below.
It will be a virtual event this year, but I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome of the day. Don’t just watch history being made. Come make history with us for such a time as this.
Hope to see you at Movement Day Tucson.