In the old I Love Lucy show there is an episode where Lucy and Ricky move from the city to the country. At bedtime Lucy finds herself tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep—ironically because it’s too quiet. This reminds me of our current corona virus work-from-home/social distancing; it is now certainly quiet outside. Even though this may not be the way we envisioned slowing life down, nevertheless, I’m finding blessing in the quiet moments.
Our country’s current stay-at-home policy has hidden in it the potential of a Sabbath rest. Though we are not under the Old Testament Law requiring the keeping of the Sabbath, we have the biblical principle of taking a break from our work to rest in the Lord (Gen. 2:1-3; Mark 2:27; Matt. 11:28-30). Jesus tells us that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). Regarding a time of rest, there has always been something unique about Sundays. Even though I’m on a church staff and Sundays have always been busy, the focus of the day is on worshiping the Lord with His church. Everything else is held at bay and is secondary. For many, Sundays are a day off and several stores and services are closed. Even with our existing mandate for online church services, I experience a holy hush on Sundays that makes the weekday hustle doable.
During the virus outbreak many people, particularly single moms and dads, are juggling caring for their children while doing their jobs from home. I see their frustration. For others the quiet of isolation is deafening. However, while huddled at home we have the opportunity in large ways or small to create a holy hush by resting in the Lord and trusting His provision. My family and I are hunkered down with our flu kit, groceries, and a limited supply of toilet paper. I’ve begun to be intentional about involving myself in things that will help me to stay attuned with the Lord—spirit, soul, and body.
For instance, with less commitments outside of the home, I’m developing a more consistent prayer time. This is especially important with our current health crisis. It replaces the voice of fear with the voice of faith. I’m currently reading Eric Metaxas’ book Bonhoeffer. In it, Bonhoeffer founded a seminary focused on training ministry candidates in the practices of cultivating a relationship with Christ through abiding in the vine (John 15:4). Part of their curriculum was taking a half an hour each day to ponder a single Bible verse. The “quiet” that we are currently experiencing may provide us with the opportunity to try this practice. For me, it’s practical to start with simply five minutes a day.
In addition to building up our spirit, our body and soul can be nurtured through being outdoors in God’s creation. I don’t want to stay closed inside when there are crowd-free nature walks to be had! Get out. Breathe. Walk. For those that are feeling well, what better time to stop and smell the roses? Exercise is great for our over-all heath. Additionally, with our extra time at home we can fortify our souls by engaging in artistic expression. Currently, I’m enjoying Bible journaling, creating a piece of artwork to highlight a Scripture. God made us creative beings. What areas do you love to create in…artwork, gardening, sewing, writing, photography, music, crafts, cooking? It’s good for our souls to get creative.
Last but not least, being tucked away at home can create the opportunity to spend more time with our families, even if it is virtual. In our rush-rush culture this is a rare commodity—an opportunity to be celebrated with the Lord. I’m thinking of doing things that my husband and I usually don’t have much time for. At our house that might look like sharing what we’re getting out of our current books, being sounding boards for each other’s writing projects, or cooking and doing artwork together.
For all of us, whether living with others or by ourselves, this quiet time can give us a chance to stop and reconfigure our priorities. For many it’s a break from the demands of the urgent, a chance to reset from reacting to acting intentionally. In Matthew’s gospel Jesus calls us to “Seek first the kingdom of God…” (6:33). Take time to pour your plans out before the Lord and to listen for His leading. I know the kids may be clamoring and that some are working from home, but let’s create moments of experiencing a holy hush, a Sabbath, a sweet-smelling aroma before the Lord.
Nancy is a guest blogger with a desire to help equip and inspire women in their walk with the Lord. Check out her bio for more about Nancy and her books. Listen to our current study on Luke here. Tune in to your favorite radio station, listen to our podcast on iTunes, or listen through TuneIn or Stitcher online radio. We are now on Spotify as well!