Isolation or investment?

My greatest fear about this Coronavirus is not catching it.  Nor is it a crashed economy, losing my retirement savings or government over-reach.  I suppose any of those things could happen with powerful consequences.  But my greatest fear is that at the end of this extraordinary time of disruption I will not have experienced the full transformation God is trying to work in me.

Just as the prodigal son was changed by his social isolation among the pigs, I believe God wants to change us during these difficult days: challenging our assumptions, exposing our passivity, and supercharging our impact upon the world.  In the distant land the wayward son awakened to his sorry condition, remembered his father’s kindness, and realized that he was squandering his life in a dead-end routine among pigs. 

We were born to change the world; every one of us, or perhaps more precisely to make a Kingdom difference in the little portion of the world around us.  C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, “Enemy occupied territory, that is what this world is.  Christianity is the story of how the rightful King has landed… and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”   (Or… if you prefer Kanye West, “We were born into a broken world, and we are the cleanup crew.”)

The question I keep returning to day-after-isolating-day is, “What am I doing at this moment to make a difference in the world?”  These exceptional times are not for treading water or entertaining ourselves until the coffeeshops, churches and restaurants open again.  These long hours are God’s gift to us; a “time out” to consider our ways, our purpose, and the imprint we could be leaving upon the world. 

It pains me to think I’ve had a slow start in coming fully on board, but I’m engaging this morning in what may be the latter days of our confinement, hoping I’ve not squandered too much precious time.    

Updating this blog is one response I’m making this morning.  What are some of the actions God is calling you to?  

21 thoughts on “Isolation or investment?”

      1. Excellent thought Don. I’ve been facing the same questions so you are not alone. With the inability to serve directly we are challenged to rethink what we have been doing and will be doing and pray for discernment. With retirement likely for me sometime this year it is doubly important. The one thing that keeps coming to me is write more. I’m doing that with my long term project but it has not been effective with my blog as Facebook is my only access to readers. Sometimes it does not seem to even make news feeds and even when I do it is gone in 24 hours so there is not much activity. I’m not sure if that is a long term answer. So I’ll pray for you and you for me, but I’m going to extend that to all Christians seeking the discernment to our “Use Me More” prayers.

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    1. Hey Betty! Yes! A Sabbath, a Passover, Jubilee, a Reset…. so many things. Whenever things loosen up I’ll come south, and hopefully we’ll be able to catch up. I, too, enjoy our chats!

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  1. Enjoyed reading this. Glad to know I am not the only one wondering if I have squandered my time away. It has been an amazing time of refreshing in the midst of the world’s demands and moving just a week before lockdown. Asking myself daily if these were my last days on this earth how do I want to spend them and most importantly how does God want me to spend them.. Do I ago back to the job I am bored at or step out in faith to volunteer as I did not so many years ago.

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  2. I have to think this is a season, where the trees planted by the river, still grow in the winter time.
    The growing for us is to take the initiative to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel in ways we couldn’t before, Of course when were in the workplace , or the routine before , “we were known and read of all”. This being a new season defiantly has the potential to develop our faith and relationship with Christ.
    I too feel the same things you share.
    It isn’t easy, and as an essential worker I wrestle with the same concerns we all have with this virus.
    I have to believe God is using this time to build confidence in us , as we take on new challenges , and “step out” where we haven’t stepped before. Especially in being a witness . Before David took on Goliath he had to deal with the lion and a bear. Each occasion; I’m sure brought it’s difficult moments ,, but they developed him, to do what he saw needed to be done.
    If there was ever a time to be a “light on a hill” this is it. Be encouraged, ask God daily where he would have you ,based on your confinement /boundaries .
    If you have to stay at home, prayer for those on the front lines, call those that need comforting ,because they can’t see loved ones or have had to say goodbye, and don’t know what to do. Pray that we would see people as Jesus does.
    If you are allowed to go to the stores, thank the cashier, stock clerk , ask them how their day is going and see where the conversation goes.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, John! And thanks for faithfully manning your post as an essential worker. I reckon it looks different for each one of us. These are all worthy suggestions.

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  3. Thank you, Betty, for introducing me to Don! During this time I have chosen to do deeper Christian reading, spend more time in devotion and prayer, encourage friends and family to pray for a spiritual awakening in America, and help my husband to have patience with the government in the handling of Covid-19. My friend is making masks, and I deliver them to those who request them. I am committing myself this week to start calling each of our church members to see how they’re doing, and if they need anything. My friend and I are using some of our stimulus checks to buy food from a wholesaler for our local food bank. Last evening I mentioned your musings, Don, to the church members who join our weekly Zoom meetings, so that they, too, might consider how they are using their time during this desert experience. I really appreciate your thoughts, Don; they have spurred me to action.

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    1. It’s good to make your acquaintance, Sharon! It looks like you’re staying busy listening, praying, and serving. Redeeming the time! (Hope to meet in person one day!

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  4. Great word Don, thanks. It is a time where the world is being broken, but will she cry out to God? I hear many individuals starting to ask what is really important in life. My answer- love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind soul and strength and love your neighbour as yourself, even when they are your enemy…

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  5. Such a loaded question, I can’t lie, I have been thinking about this a lot lately.
    I been trying g to listen to what’s around me to help me give me insight on how I can contribute more to the world around me.
    I been looking at the needs in my community, my own needs, what do my Friend’s and family request from me the most?

    I hope you are able to find the answer to your question, I know you will get there.it may not happen during quarantine, maybe it will be after we are let back into the world and you will have a *light bulb moment*

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  6. Disciplining myself to be aware of the connection I share in this and every moment with the Father and Son through the Holy Spirit.

    Consciously bringing that awareness into the words I speak and the actions I take.
    I find when I am immersed in this way,
    Every word, every action and every moment becomes purposeful.

    All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of one candle.

    A call to arms brothers and sisters.

    Waging battle against fear and doubt.
    Proactively engaging in this way no matter how mundane or Extraordinary the task.

    Bringing heaven here on Earth one step one thought and one word at a time..

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    1. Daniel! I knew I could count on you to share some inspiring thoughts. Bless you, my friend! Living purposefully, waging battle agains fear. That’s a big battle right now!

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  7. Hi Don

    Thanks for this very inspiring blog post, which I stumbled upon by “coincidence” (God’s way of leading me to hear what I need to hear…). It’s been quite a while since I last heard your take on things!

    Right now that the world seems to be falling apart, I feel so challenged to not waste the gift of life on selfish desires, things that bring temporary comfort.
    I feel similar to the way I felt at a certain point during labour with our first child. At that point I turned over to my husband and said “I just can’t be quiet anymore” to which he replied “then don’t be”.
    Another thing that I am reminded of is the image of me being our Shepherds border collie 🙂 When the “covid crisis” hit I heard “go play” and I ran around and sniffed all sorts of interesting things, also some rotten old stuff. But after a while I heard “heel” and I knew I must stay close now to hear every little thing He might want me to do.
    That’s where I’m at – just staying in heel mode – making it a point to stay close and look at Him and what He wants. It’s a challenge because my flesh wants all sorts of things and my flesh tends to get anxious. But while staying in heel mode not only am I there to serve Him but also because staying close gives me comfort and strength.

    Thanks again for posting your thoughts, Don! Your post sure brightened my day and reminded me of how many more people are out there also trying to stay close and look at Him!

    Janice

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