Are you trying to pretend everything is normal?

I feel like I’m sitting on a beach and tidal waves just keep crashing over me.  There have been things personally that have rocked our world in the last few weeks and then of course we are all sharing in the global experience of the coronavirus.

Harrison Ford (the actor, not the pastor) once said that he liked the movie theater because you had a whole room of people who were experiencing the same emotion at the same time.  Well, now it seems like the whole world is a theater, which of course, it is, if The Bard is correct. 

A shared experience?

So we’re all having this same experience together (separately), and yet it feels like in some ways we are trying not to.  Instead we are trying to maintain the same life, in some way, along with the same level of frenetic activity and busyness that we had before the pestilence.

Every day we get emails about some new online course or some new thing that is being streamed.  Churches are offering all sorts of streamed bible studies, colleges are making their classes available to everyone.

It seems like everyone suddenly must be on the internet, must have some voice since their public voice is lost.

Now, I’m not faulting people for wanting to make good things available to people who are stuck at home, but is it possible that we are missing an opportunity? The opportunity to, what my wife Sarah calls, the chance to “Just Be.” 

Is busy the only thing you know how to be?

What if we took this opportunity, while we are all imprisoned in our homes, to stop.  To listen.  To sit.  To maybe even be bored.

To let the head-spinning frantic running and doing, stay outside your door for a while.  To look up from a screen (yes I realize you’re reading this on a screen) and stare outside your window.

Let busy people take this as an opportunity to rest, if you can.  I know there are lots of life situations that you all have and that you have different responsibilities, that work is different, difficult, or perhaps even unavailable to you right now.

I’m not suggesting a one-size fits all approach.  Lazy people need to get moving but I suspect most of us are busy people.

Consider whether you really need to be busy or is this just the only way you know how to be.  Or will you feel guilty about not filling every second with something?

Read these two books

It’s OK to stop.  God made the world for you to enjoy.  He wrote two books with the intention of having you read them.  One book is, of course, the Bible, but the second book is nature.

Marvel at the goodness of a world that is so beautiful but does not have to be that way.  But it is, because God is good.

And know that that God made you as an image-bearer with the capacity to enjoy the world such that enjoying it is to enjoy Him.

And of course, read His other book, the Bible, written to tell you what life is like, what the world is, who you are, and how you are loved by God. 

The opportunity before you

If, in God’s good providence, you are able to do this -meaning, you have the time and are still able to get food on the table- spend some of that down-time thinking about what God is saying to us with this pestilence.

I’ll say more about this in my sermon, but I believe this is a taste, a warning, a wake-up call to all who do not believe in Christ.

But for His people it is a chance to revel in the hope that we have been given. 

To join faith with our fathers who sought a city that was not made with human hands, a better city, the city of God.