As I begin my comments here on our "Quarantine Corner" page my thoughts immediately go to the limited capacity we all have to meet the myriad of needs around us living in the midst of a pandemic. Whether it's juggling 'stay at home' restrictions, homeschooling responsibilities, keeping tabs on elderly parents or neighbors, trying to make ends meet in a business that has been forced to close, finding ways to stay connected to friends on social media so as not to go crazy, deciding where and when to go out to buy what is needed, or figuring out how to pay the mortgage with no income coming in, the stress levels are high and the fear is lurking.
I wanted to start here because personally I know ... I can't do it all - I can't meet all the needs around me. And I feel guilty about not doing much of anything well. It is only when I take a minute to gain some perspective and listen to God say to me, "I love you, Marc. Remember that. And remember too ... you're not God", that my spirit begins to settle and I can function with a certain level of competency and cohesion. I need that and so do we all. We need God to remain on the throne. We need God to remind us who we are. We need God to order our chaos. We need God to be primary in our lives. We need God to rise above our circumstances, stress, and burdens
The only way this happens is if we give priority to God, take a breath, take a moment, and let God be God. I'm reminded of the instructions that flight attendants give us each time we fly: "In the case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Make sure to put your mask on before assisting others." The reason is, you can't help anyone else if you yourself are struggling, in this case, to breath.
What is true of flying is true of living during a pandemic and always. Take time to be with Jesus before and in the midst of tackling the day. Let him give you perspective, order, encouragement, and a proper posture toward all that you are facing. You can't help others breath when you have stopped breathing. Jesus himself took time to be with his father when facing the challenges of his day. (Mark 1:35) "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (see also Lk. 5:15-16, 6:12-13; Mat. 14:13, 23; Mk. 3:7, 14:32).
I completely understand that you may not have much time to yourself. Time and space may seem cramped right now. However, even a step out onto the porch along with a 'help me' prayer or a walk to the end of the driveway or just a silent moment in the bathroom announcing, "I need a minute" will suffice. Of course, the more moments you can string together the better. The more spiritual oxygen you can inhale the better. But before you let stress overtake you, or even before you meet the needs of the day ... put your mask on first. Breathe deep in God's love and presence with you.
Grace & Peace,
A couple of additional thoughts about how we do this...
A blog dedicated to encouraging you during this quarantine time!