2020 was supposed to be a year of promise and realized expectation, but things took a left turn with the advent of COVID-19. In the matter of a couple weeks students are left to finish the academic year from home, the labor force is scrambling to define essential versus non-essential employees and the cultural pillars of entertainment and sports have been replaced by daily government briefings on coronavirus and social distancing. Suddenly, we find ourselves with a little more at-home time than normal. This is the perfect time to take stock of our spiritual lives.
The buzz phrase from the most popular memes and texting threads during this stressful time is “social distancing.” But what if we turn that phrase upside down to describe the relationship between us and God, and emphasize “private associating” instead? There are no more excuses. We no longer have to get up and get the kids off to school, and many of us are figuring out how to work from home for a while. As a result, there just may be an extra half hour here or there that was not part of our day before.
Instead of squandering this opportunity to work in more Netflix or Disney +, why not embrace some private associating with your Creator? Pick up the Bible. Ask God to speak to your heart and mind. Pray. Set aside some time you would not normally have and draw close to Him and just see what happens. Maybe all that is going on out in the big, bad world will suddenly not seem so daunting. Perhaps you will get a renewed sense of God as Abba Father. Conceivably, you could walk away from extra time spent with God with a renewed sense of peace and joy knowing that none of our current situation is a surprise to Him and indeed He is in control.
For you parents, is there a better example you could set for your young ones than to purpose to seek God on a more intimate level every day of this new reality we live in? Lead your children in private associating. Point them to God. Teach them to take their concerns and fears to Him in prayer. Do not misuse the gift of this unexpected time. Recalibrate your spiritual walk and lead those in your household towards private association with God.
Yes – continue to follow the guidelines of the government and health departments to keep you and your family safe. Prepare for a new way of life for the time being. Socially distance yourself for the sake of physical health, but I challenge you, privately associate yourself with God Almighty in the meantime and find yourself on the other side of this crisis in a better place than you ever imagined.
You have the time. What do you have to lose?