Don’t Waste Your Quarantine
At the time of this writing, we’ve just completed the first full week of Governor DeWine’s “stay at home” order to combat the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We are beginning to see the escalation of diagnosed cases and most experts are predicting a strain on our health-care system. And while these measures will help prevent new cases and protect those in healthcare, economists are unsure of the future. But, it’s pretty obvious that when people are not able to go to work, it can’t be good for the economy.
Another concern, though far less severe, is our inability to socialize, gather with friends/family for a meal or watch new movies and live sporting events. The joys and distractions of life are no longer present to give us joy and distract us in the same way.
Yet this quarantine could be a great opportunity for us to find new joys! What if we used this time of distancing and silence to improve ourselves and extend our influence?
Think of this as going to camp. For a few weeks (or months) we have the time to devote to something — free from typical disturbances or interruptions. While we are “unplugged” and isolated we can have a long-overdue sabbath and take the time to focus on our lives and on the next season of our lives.
This is not down time. It is refocus time.
Let me “prime your pump” by offering you a few suggestions for using this time to your long-term advantage. This is just a start and I’m certain you will come up with others. Let me hear your ideas!
- Read through the New Testament. If you start in Matthew and read for one hour per day, you should be able to read through the entire New Testament in a few of weeks.
- After watching the Hope Church message each Sunday at 10:15 (hint, hint, wink, wink ?), check out other ministries throughout our country. Normally, we don’t seem to find the time or the chance to visit livestream places like these:
- Parkside Church (Pastor Alistair Begg) in Cleveland
- Garfield Memorial Church (Chip Freed) in Cleveland
- Metropolitan Baptist in Washington DC (Pastor Maurice Watson)
- Redeemer Presbyterian in New York City,
- Village Church (Matt Chandler) in Dallas, Texas
- Progressive Baptist Church of Chicago (Pastor Charlie Dates).
- City Life Church in Boston (Stephen Um)
- Shiloh Baptist in Jacksonville (Pastor H.B. Charles).
These are just a few of the many great preachers’ ministries throughout the county. (Hmmmm, as I write this,
I am thinking about perhaps posting one of them each week.)
- Start (or restart) a discipline of prayer. Tim Keller has an excellent online resource entitled, “Prayer: A Fourteen Day Devotional by Tim Keller”.
- Start/Continue the New City Catechism by memorizing a Bible verse each week.
- Do something to impact your ministry or advance your career. Read that book, sign up for that class, watch those videos, make that call. You have been thinking about it for a long time. There is never a better time to do something than when you have nothing to do.
- Learn a new skill. I am learning how to be better at staying connected to people online. I am learning how to do video messages, host prayer calls, and build a website. I should have learned these things a long time ago, but now I not only have the time, I have a sense of urgency!
- Do something nice for someone. Look for ways to be a blessing to others.
- Connect with people that you haven’t talked to in years. I can almost certainly promise you that
they will be at home when you call/text/email or message.
I suspect that after we get through this — please note: we WILL get through this — we are going to recognize that, while many people were simply trying to pass the time, others were making the most of an opportunity that will never arise again.
The apostle Paul wrote many of his letters in prison. Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German while in exile at Wartburg. Martin Luther King wrote Letter from a Birmingham Jail while, you guessed it, incarcerated for advocating for civil rights. It has been speculated that during the plague of 1605-06 is when Shakespeare composed King Lear, Macbeth, Antony, and Cleopatra. In the Great London Plague of 1665, Sir Isaac Newton developed what would later be called calculus and began to articulate his theories on gravity. It is possible that Newton’s time in quarantine is one of the factors that brought Europe out of the dark ages.
A quarantine provides the circumstances, the opportunity and, hopefully, the motivation to do new things — things you’ve pondered or would not otherwise do!!
Don’t while away the hours — worry will find a way to creep in — but, rather, maximize this opportunity
I would love to hear how you are maximizing this time.