Discipleship & the Coronavirus: As a Business Owner (Part 2)
This is part of our series, Discipleship & the Coronavirus, featuring posts written by GABC members on what God is teaching them during the coronavirus pandemic.
You may read the entire series here.
by Duane Jensen
[Editor’s note: Duane began Part 1 on March 30, as COVID precautions were beginning in full force. In God’s timing with our publishing schedule, he was able to add this Part 2 as a follow-up one month later.]
This is now April 30. A lot has happened in the past weeks. Since that time, many hours have been spent reading, studying, and adapting work conditions and job sites to meet CDC Guidelines and OSHA requirements for sanitization, social/work distancing, health checks, reporting, etc. We set-up home offices and “isolated” our bookkeeper, architects, and project managers to work from home. Two employees’ wives are pregnant, so they adjusted their hours and work locations to tasks/projects where they can work nearly alone on job sites. Workplace distancing has been implemented along with wearing masks and rubber gloves when/where practical and close work proximity conditions demand it.
Even with these “best laid plans in place,” a JCorp employee somehow (on the job or at a gas pump or from a pizza box or contact made in a grocery store . . . it is unknown as to the source) contracted the virus and developed symptoms two weekends ago. He was able to be tested the following Monday and received back a positive report two days later. Fortunately, he is in his upper 20’s and has good health and has now fully recovered, all from home. Though 6 other JCorp employees, including me, worked closely with him the week prior . . . none of us have developed any symptoms, Praise the Lord.
God’s Plans vs My Plans
The last 6 weeks have been chaotic, bouncing from situation to situation, seemingly never time to fully focus or finish any particular task. In Proverbs 19:21, God reminds me that though the plans in my mind are many, it is only His purposes that will stand. Then in James 4:13-17, God rebukes me for thinking that I can say that I am going to such and such a town and spend a given amount of time there, do my work and make my intended profit. He tells me that I have no idea what tomorrow will bring . . . what is my life . . . just a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Clearly, overnight He took any iota of my arrogance of boasting about what I will be doing tomorrow away and established His “new to me” plan over me. Then in verse 17, He cuts my last selfish lifeline off with a “by the way . . . you know the right thing to do and if you fail to do it, yah . . . that’s sin.”
Obeying the Government
Conforming to the demands of the government in where I go, what I do, how I run my business, etc. does not come naturally to me. But again, scripture is clear in Romans 13:1-6, where God tells me He has instituted all governing authorities, God’s servants in their places for my good. I have learned to conform. I have been blown away by both the self-sacrifice of individuals and families that have sheltered in-place and of those that step into the exposure of the essential workforce each day, unprecedented is becoming too weak of a term to describe the commitments that have been made.
The Mind of Christ
While working through the steps to get my mind wrapped around the conforming commitment, Philippians 2:1-11 became my solace or, as verse 1 says, “my encouragement from being united in Christ.” In verse 5, I am told my attitude is to be the same as that of Christ Jesus . . . whoa . . . to share in His example of humility in giving up all my own interests to be replaced by the interests of others. I am to have this perspective in my mind which was in Christ’s mind as He subjected Himself to God’s will and plan for Him to become obedient to the point of death on the cross. As I applied my pittance of sacrifice compared to His, I could more readily see how we are not all the same, each with differing perspectives, needs, points in life. How one solution doesn’t fit all people and how I needed to even more respect, discern, and meet each person differently based on where they are at. Needless to say, perhaps, as Paul says in verse 2, my joy became complete as my energy shifted into doing what was best for my wife, my family, and each of my employees by serving them in support of their life situations.
COVID-19 is impacting all of us. I trust you are seeing the Gospel through it as you experience life in very different ways from what you did just a few short weeks ago. As we have been absent from you, Danelle and I have been praying for all of you. Isolation requirements are likely winding down in the near future—AMEN! You all are missed, and we look forward to catching up with you and your families.