141 nations are facing this viral challenge in hopes of finding a cure. In an effort to keep it from spreading any further, many have been furloughed from their job, while still others find themselves in unemployment lines. In a matter of weeks, the stock market has plummeted, yet we find ourselves being forced to sit at home. We are anxious to know when life as we knew it would be back on track. When will we hear the starting pistol indicating that the “rat race” is on once again?
Let’s take a moment and observe the opportunities this shutdown has afforded us. First, we’ve been so busy that we are worn out. Let’s consider this a time to recuperate, getting the rest we so desperately need. Second, we’ve been so busy, our family time has taken a toll. Let’s use this time to work on our family relationships, spending quality time with our spouse and children. Third, and most importantly, we’ve been so busy, that we’re short of breath as we walk with God. We often think of being short of breath as we walk physically, but when we are so busy that we don’t spend a concerted amount of time with God spiritually, we can become weaker than we might think. So, let’s use this “downtime” to intentionally work on our relationship with God.
There are some obvious suggestions, such as spending more time in prayer, spending more energy in how we can demonstrate our love for God and others, and we can watch worship services on podcast or television. I’d like to suggest a couple of additional opportunities with God. Let’s dedicate a half-hour, an hour, or more, to read the Bible and other Christian literature each day.
Might I suggest that if you have not read one of the Gospels in a while, take another look at the Gospel of John. Within this Gospel, John proves that Jesus is the Son of God. Using the number of completion, John gives evidence that Jesus is God by including miracles that Jesus performed, Biblical truths that Jesus taught, including but not limited to the “I Am” passages, etc.
I would also encourage you to consider reading three books by C.S. Lewis on Audible. Audible is offering these three books and more at no charge during this pandemic, or at least while schools are closed. I know that we have all been impacted by grief at one time or another. In his book A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis shares his journey after losing his beloved wife. In his book Surprised by Joy, C.S. Lewis shares his journey of being a young Christian who later embraces atheism, and yet is surprised by the joy of coming back to Jesus. In one of his most popular books, C.S. Lewis writes a satirical story wherein Screwtape, an underling to the father of lies, mentors Wormwood, a novice minion of temptation and deceit, as he attempts to ensnare an unsuspecting victim.
Or, should you prefer a different kind of read, might I suggest a book by Jeremy Camp called I Still Believe. (While this book isn’t free, it is available on Audible and other formatssuch as christianbook.com.) I know that my family and I were looking forward to watching the movie (by the same title) which has just been released in theaters. Now that we are homebound, we might try to read the book upon which this movie is based.
I’ll submit some new ideas next time; I would also enjoy to hear any new ideas you may have.
While I hope everything in our lives get back to normal soon, I also hope that we might make our time of rest our time of building our relationship with our family and with our God (eg. by spending time in prayer, by spending time in His Word, and by reading important Christian literature) our new normal.