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From the Synod Moderator:
The Journey from Orientation to Disorientation to Reorientation

By Rt Rev Keith Lai
Dec 2020

The Christian Life is a Journey.

It is not about getting to the destination as quickly as possible, because the Journey itself is as important (if not more important) as the Destination. This past 8 months have been a journey that none of us expected or signed up for. It has been “imposed” on us.

What can we learn from this Journey?

We spend our entire life orientating through education and equipping so that we will function optimally. We take up courses and invest in trainings that will best set us up for success and progress. These are necessary steps that all of us have to take.

There are also seasons (like the pandemic) where everything we have mastered, developed and comfortable with are thrown into disarray and chaos. Even what we used to believe are called into question. It’s a revolutionary upheaval of all that we have built over a lifetime.

End of 2019, I was going through this period of disorientation as a father, a pastor, even as a believer. During this period, God seems to be saying, ”Keith, don’t run. I am going to break you”. When you hear such words from a loving Heavenly Father, they do not come across as cruel or harsh, but a gracious admonition. The process might be painfully disorientating but the outcome can only be good.

      “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
            nor be weary when reproved by him.
      For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
            and chastises every son whom he receives.”     Heb 12:5-6

This process of being reproved may not be the most comfortable, when our favourite “toys” are taken away from us, our safety nets stripped away, our security shattered.

The process of disorientation is designed to lead us to reorientation. This is a necessary step for greater growth and maturity. Otherwise we remain stuck in the rut, carrying on “business as usual”, keeping the status quo because we are too afraid of changes.

What are some areas of reorientation that God is orchestrating in our life? What about our Church? Our Presbyterian denomination?

  • Renovate and overhauling the values we have always cherished?
  • Rethink the way we worship? (can we still worship God without singing?)
  • Reset the way we connect with others? (in homes and small groups, over meals and Holy Communion)
  • Rekindle our passion to reach out to your community and neighbours? (growing organically, rather than organizationally”

Let’s not miss the many hidden blessings of reorientation.


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