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Social Distancing — A Few Thoughts

23 Mar

As an “expressive introvert” (I’ve taken the tests: Myers Briggs, Briggs & Stratton, etc.), I recognize that my default setting requires a fair amount of alone time. I can identify with the desert monks centuries ago who lived in caves by themselves and contemplated the glories of God away from this broken, fallen world of sin.

However, they could not escape from themselves. We take ourselves with us when we self-isolate. Blaise Pascal, the 17th century mathematician and theologian said, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” Aloneness, solitude, can be one blessing from how our culture is dealing with the Coronavirus.

But we have a supernatural enemy who hates quiet. He majors in noise and often we cooperate with his wicked plans by providing as much noise as we can. It is hard to contemplate when one is immersed in sound. Quietness is a rare commodity in our culture, but one we can pursue with profit.

Here are several benefits of self-distancing that occur to me:

1. We can re-discover reading. You remember reading, don’t you? Pastor John Piper once said, “To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click ‘I agree.’” What books do you have in your library that you would read — if you only had the time? Now you do.

2. We can concentrate on conversation. With much of the hustle and bustle of regular life forcibly put on pause, we can talk with our spouse or significant other about life, and suffering, and challenges. And we should focus on becoming better ASKERS rather than TELLERS. Asking good questions of those we love gives them the opportunity of expressing their views and perspectives. Someone has said that “The ability to hold a good conversation has almost become a lost art form.” Edith Wharton once wrote, “Ah, good conversation. There’s nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing.”

3. We can major on meditation. We who know Jesus have no excuses not to meditate on God’s Word. Many of us now have what we seemingly lacked B.V. (before the virus) — and that is TIME. Use it wisely. Develop or re-develop the habit of pouring over God’s Word — and thinking about what you read there. Chuck Swindoll writes, “In place of our exhaustion and spiritual fatigue, God will give us rest. All He asks is that we come to Him…that we spend a while thinking about Him, meditating on Him, talking to Him, listening in silence, occupying ourselves with Him – totally and thoroughly lost in the hiding place of His presence.”

4. We can achieve a new perspective on prayer. Human helplessness in the face of this pandemic is remedied, for followers of Jesus, by the simple practice of prayer. We must pray for our leaders as they make key decisions. We can pray for our neighbors whom we hardly know. We can commit ourselves in prayer that life will be different when we are through this trial. We can pray for our churches which have discontinued meeting together. The church is not finally defined by its services or its building, but by its members who love and pray for one another. Prayer is the antidote to worry. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.” And we can pray for others, for our lost neighbors, for those who have turned away from the gospel. J. Sidlow Baxter wrote, “Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.”

Your thoughts?

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2020 in social distancing

 

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