Is this happening to anyone else? . .
Last night I came in the house from being outside. Cool evening air. Sun going down. Full moon out. Birds saying goodnight. Stars in the sky. Campfire in the backyard. As I looked up in the sky I didn’t see the blinking lights of an airplane anywhere. . . for half an hour. Normally, I would have seen a dozen or so as we live beneath the Eastbound to Philly flight path. . . and in the other direction, . . the Westbound from Philly flight path. Kids on bikes are up and down the street with their families. And, I’m living out the irony of connecting with neighbors in face-to-face conversations like never before. . . at a time when we are social distancing. And so much more. . .
While I lament this virus and what it’s doing to so many people, the side effect of a shut down is relieving me of stress that I didn’t even know existed. My mind is clear. I am relaxed. I’m not running here and there. . . trying to stay ahead. . . or catch up. . . or do whatever it is we are doing when we run around. I’m not watching TV. I’m spending less time in front of this screen. I leave my phone in the house while I’m outside. I’m driving less. Shopping is something from the past. The Scriptures are coming to life like never before. Ministry continues, but without the frantic sense that until now I didn’t really know even existed as exist it did. I can’t help but think that relationships and tasks that shouldn’t be are coming undone everywhere,. . . and that’s a good thing. And relationships and tasks that should be are being redone or perhaps done for the first time. Families are together. And if we allow it to happen, it will be so enjoyable that it will be looked back upon with smiles and joy as a very special time in our lives. Perhaps we are experiencing Sabbath like we did in the past, or maybe for the first time ever.
Do you know what this feels like? It feels like it did when I was a kid. Could it be that this is what we were made for? Yep.
I’m praying this virus away and I can’t wait until we can come out of it. God help those who are suffering in so many ways under its presence. This is not the way it’s supposed to be. But when we come out of it, I trust that we won’t only be breathing a sigh of relief over its absence. I pray that we will be breathing a sigh of relief as we realize we have learned enough lessons that we build blockades made of commitments and good new habits that will keep that old pre-Covid-19 life and its heavy yoke in the category of bad memories.
God help us to never suffer again under the presence of the insanity that we have somehow allowed to become so normal that we actually seek it. The rug of our habitual diversions, frantic idolatry, self-importance, fear-driven comparison, and anxious ladder-climbing to nowhere is being pulled out. . . in grace. . . from under us.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11: 28-30).