A NEW CURRENCY by AChuckAllen
All I hear is talk about the “new normal.” Does anybody know what that means? Seriously, if Anthony Fauci’s version of new normal is accurate, he’s the next President of the United States, and we will all be wearing masks well into 2030. I don’t know about you, but the heck with a new normal. I don’t want the old normal, and I’ll pass on what “they say” is the latest version of normal.
I stumbled on something that I thought was life-altering, earth-shaking news during the pandemic and all of the bluster surrounding it. I found a new currency and investment strategy that has paid off in a HUGE way. Before I launch out in this new and better way to a far better life than “normal, ” let me stop and say that despite the lives that we have lost and the pain inflicted by this virus, there has been some good that came out of it as well.
If you lost someone in this mess, I am so sorry. I know dear friends that are in Heaven today as a direct result of this terrible virus. I’ve had it, and it was a big deal. I had a few days that I thought I would be intubated and wondered if that trip to the hospital would be one of “those stories.” I truly underestimated COVID-19. I trust that we are headedb out of “the long dark winter.”
Last year, I began seeking every possible way that Sugar Hill Church could serve people in need. Everything in me wanted to hunker down, care for me and mine, and let everybody manage independently. I mean, that’s what selfish, self-centered people like me do. But I couldn’t get past the firm belief that the Divine was calling me to my burning bush moment. Sitting in my Chevy Colorado, enjoying a moment of solitude, I was so moved by God’s presence that I was tear-filled and awed. Why would the Creator and Sustainer of the universe give a hoot about me and what I thought about COVID-19, the pandemic, the economy, and families in need? I don’t have a huge platform, a huge church, a vast audience. I’m just Chuck.
But I know that I know God was prompting me. I mean, I know it! When God brought Moses up to the Mountain, He said, “Come up to me on the mountain and STAY HERE, and I will give you the tablets of stone…” Did you see it? God Himself said to Moses, don’t just show up, show up and be fully, completely present! Stay Here! It’s like when Jenny says to me, “If you are listening to me, I need full-faced attention.” That’s my reminder to stop the impossibility of multi-tasking and give her my full attention.
The new currency in America today isn’t showing up. That’s part of it, but anybody can show up. It’s “BEING THERE” or “STAYING THERE.”
Years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a small gathering in a tiny theatre in New York City. When I say tiny, I’m talking—about thirty seats. I was attending a marketing workshop lead by Seth Godin. Seth is one of the brightest people on the planet and a marketing genius. I was the only non-profit faith leader out of the twenty-two people that paid a considerable amount of money to hear Seth dismantle and rebuild each of their marketing plans. When it came to my turn, Seth, being a practicing Jew, said, “I don’t even know where to start with you, but let’s try.” He asked a series of poignant questions and then hit the nail with my head. He asked this question. “What would be unique in your space, in your community?” Bam! That’s the new and more significant currency. What is rare and unique in America today?
Here are FOUR unique and rare commodities that are
creating a healthy new currency and economy of scale:
Directly Serving Others. If people are hungry, feed them. If they need shelter, house them. If they need clothing, clothe them. I’ve discovered that people remember and appreciate your assistance more than any other time in my 61 years of life. Sugar Hill Church is still feeding more than 600 families each week and tutoring more than 200 children each week. The amount of support to assist families directly affected by COVID-19 has reached far more than $750,000, JUST LAST YEAR.
Directly Addressing Mental and Emotional Health. I doubt if there has ever been a time that so many Americans have carried so much anxiety or stress in their daily lives. The expectations that we place on ourselves and the expectations that we inherit are simply overwhelming. Add to that the guilt we heap on ourselves and the unmet expectations we place our souls, and you have a recipe for a far greater pandemic than COVID-19. We are working hard to build a Healthy Holistic Home Service that will assess and professionally treat men, women, couples, children, and families with real, tangible help for emotional and mental health. That is a huge undertaking, but we must recognize that we all can serve with help in the currency of BEING THERE.
Directly Offering Words of Affirmation and Encouragement. Do you know what is unique and rare in America today? KINDNESS! We have become a culture of critics. We see something that has zero impact on us but criticize it and post negatively about it non-stop! We find what is wrong with anybody and everybody that is leading. The end goal? To catch them doing something wrong. No wonder our best and brightest leaders run away from serving our land. I know firsthand how cruel people can be. I’ve heard more than my share, and most often, it comes from people that claim to be Christians. No wonder folks say, “church isn’t for me.” I have determined to be rare and unique. I want our church to be full of people that love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. But I want them to be normal. Normal as in not self-righteous know-it-alls, but kind, gracious people that offer that rare currency of affirmation and encouragement.
Directly Listening, Not Thinking About What I am About to Say While Pretending to Listen. That’s a mouthful. Do you know how rare it is to find people that listen? Rare and unique enough that we pay billions of dollars to therapists to listen to us! I’m a believer in counseling and therapy, but often I think we need someone that gives a hoot and will listen to us.
These four things are rare and unique. Seth Godin would be proud of the lesson I learned that day in New York. Now, the question is, will my ego sustain the neglect that is required to act on these four currencies? If so, I do not doubt that the Divine will bless them hugely. To quote a brilliant man, David Orr, “The planet does not need more successful people. But it does need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, and storytellers. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.”
Join me in this new and better currency of service and kindness. I’m discovering that these investments’ net gain is greater than any other commodity on the planet.
Go in Peace, Chuck