Busyness, when taken away, creates a vacuum. Our stay-at-home situation has disrupted many people’s daily routines, causing their over encumbered schedules to seemingly bottom out. This has left people stranded on the desert islands of their homes as they toss out their social media bottles with messages in ongoing attempts to stay connected with the outside world.
Vacuums will be filled… with something. As we may not know how to spend all the time we suddenly find at our disposal, boredom sets in and fear seeps in… like a slow poison to the soul. I personally think that these two facts have much to do with how we have lost our way with those things that matter most to us and the work it takes to nurture those things.
For example, we speak more often than we think. I probably don’t need to try to prove that to anyone since our social media accounts are saturated with explosive demonstrations of ignorance. Time suddenly at our disposal can be used to allow us to begin the process of thinking once again. That is to say, that we learn to listen carefully and consider what we hear (or read) with an analytic mind, scrutinizing what comes our way as opposed to simply accepting things thrown at us from all sides of the aisle according to whatever fits our already cemented beliefs.
We have now the opportunity to step back from things and weigh them carefully looking for real evidence as opposed to the polished, shiny apples lobbed at us by those who want us on “their side”. Those shiny apples look and taste good in the sense that they align with our political, emotional, and spiritual taste buds, but they are as surely poisonous as the one that brought low Snow White.
Another area where we could regain something lost to us is the area of our own prayer lives. Prayer is not for the weak, because it is work to develop an attitude and habit of taking the time to pray. Yet prayer is for the weak, because it anchors us to the only true power that is… the power of the love and majesty of God which is not subject to our world’s churning circumstances. Are you finding a lot of down time right now? Why not invest it in the one thing that lifts you up out of the dreary pace of what you can only see with physical eyes? Why not connect with the Creator of the universe? After all, it is a tremendous gift given you as a result of His death on the cross! Not only that, but His resurrection underscores the validity of doing it: victory in prayer because of His victory over death!
Yet another area where you could become reestablished with power that transforms the ordinary moment into a Kingdom of God experience is reading the Bible, the Word of God! Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is an overflow of excitement as the writer just can’t stop gushing about how God’s Words meet every need for the Child of God in every moment!
And finally, there are the “little things” that we can do to change the kind of day others are having. Galatians 6:10 says, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Let’s be honest. How much of what we had planned before the COVID-19 shutdown was doing what we wanted to do for ourselves? Our vacations? Our shopping trips? Our daily indulgences in whatever pleases us most?
Happily, I know that not everything falls into that category, but much of what we lost probably had to do with what we wanted for ourselves. Well, here we have time now to make a difference in other people’s lives. Stripped away are the excuses of how we are too busy to do those things. Why not call someone who is lonely? Why not drop a card in the mail? With sterilized hands, of course. Why not Facetime someone who is feeling lost, alone, or forgotten? You’ve got the time. Now take the time to use it well.
(Thom Mollohan and his family have ministered in southern Ohio the past 24 ½ years, is the author of Led by Grace, The Fairy Tale Parables, Crimson Harvest, and A Heart at Home with God. He blogs at “unfurledsails.wordpress.com.” Pastor Thom leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at email@example.com.)