Six Weeks and Counting. . .

Al and I had to make a somewhat risky decision six weeks ago. With the pandemic looming, we had to decide whether or not to attend a wedding of our friends’ youngest daughter Phoebe and her sweet Jacob. We decided to go and were blessed to ride downtown with a couple of great friends we too seldom spend time with.

The next day we went to church as usual. But after listening to the news that afternoon about the Coronavirus, I decided to stay home from Bible study. Since then, our church has depended upon livestream worship and Zoom. Our lives together had changed—suddenly and drastically.

Since then we’ve crossed out over 20 events, appointments, etc. on our March-April calendars, cancelled an Airbnb in Flagstaff, AZ for our May family reunion, and thankfully not gotten COVID-19.

With all the changes have come new insight and skills. From YouTube, I’ve learned to make pompons for knitted hats completed for next year’s NBA All-Star game and face masks that have been donated to St. Francis Hospice and Valle Vista Health as well as given to family and friends. BTW: I’m still making them if you need some. And of course, I’ve learned to Zoom.

How have I spent my time? I’ve zigzagged between writing, reading, cooking, baking, sewing, bike riding, practicing yoga, and most recently gardening. Some things haven’t changed much. I still get up at 6am Monday through Friday and walk with two friends around the neighborhood for 40 minutes with social distancing, of course! Al and I still watch TV or movies almost every night. BTW: If you haven’t seen vintage movies such as Lilies of the Field or Casablanca, now would be a good time.

The absolute BEST part of these past six weeks, however, has been not looking forward to the next event or activity but enjoying the NOW. I’ve listened to and watched more birds than I have in my entire life. My time with God doesn’t stop with the morning study, prayer and devotional. I’ve felt His presence throughout the day—especially when I wash my hands reciting James 4:7-8. I think He gets a big kick out of that.

Relish this time. And count your blessings—one by one.

Make It Personal, Make It Real

Like many of you, I’ve been praying for our world, our nation, our state, those in the trenches who are at risk for COVID-19 and my family. But surprisingly, I’ve lost little sleep over this pandemic. My Father in Heaven has given me peace. Why is that?

I know He can eradicate this virus because He is the Almighty Creator. I also know that nothing that brings death originates from God. His intent for us at Creation was life, not death. It still is. So why, in His sovereignty, did He allow this to infiltrate the world?

The answer is LIFE. Not life in the here and now but forever life. Almighty God wants us to live eternally. He doesn’t want us to live only in the finite where idols sneak in to rule our lives. Things and experiences that we covet and enjoy–new cars, vacations, sports, entertainment, food, fitness, etc.

None of the above is inerrantly wrong. But when those activities and items consume our time and energy, we forfeit how God wants us to live.

What’s our next step? God’s prescription is simple yet profound: “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

My role: Humble myself; pray and seek His face; turn from my evil ways (thoughts, actions, apathy, critical spirit, self-indulgence, self-pity, self-righteousness, self-absorption. . .)

God’s response: Hear from heaven, forgive my sin, and heal my land.

photo credit: Thank you, my friends, Adam! Broken Wing via photopin (license)