Yet even for we introverts and homebodies, this is a bit much. We miss our ministries, the church family we love to worship with, and the easy fellowship of friends over for lunch or dinner. This morning, as I prepared to teach yet another Zoomed homeschool co-op literature course, I began to grow frustrated. I felt myself thinking, "When will this be OVER?"
I immediately knew that was the wrong question. (I have a habit of asking wrong questions!) The question - for me - really isn't "When will this be over?" but rather it is, "What should I be learning in this place?" Or maybe, "How can I lean in to this silence and more clearly see the will of God?" I filed that question away to ponder and turn over.
Now, I know there are lots of experts out there telling us just to relax, take it easy, and not to put pressure on ourselves to do anything with this time. And, honestly, if I were feeling stressed, or fearful, or anxious - I would absolutely agree that I need to just be... But I'm not fearful or anxious or stressed. I'm just spoiled and like being able to do what I want to do, and I'm eager to not be too put out of my comfort zone. Hm. Sounds like a perfect set-up for a little spiritual growth?
I felt through the leaves...nothing. Maybe it was just time for the bed to be seeded with zucchini. That I can grow!
Oh. From the other side, I was shocked to see these giant heads of cauliflower! I had to laugh at myself. I had somehow missed two bigger-than-bowling-ball sized heads of cauliflower. How is that even possible?
But you see - my perspective was off. I wasn't looking at the bed from a good angle to see what it was producing, and I was hastily trying to move on to the next thing. Patience is not my natural strong suit, can you tell?
So...why do I wriggle under these restrictions so? Well, partly because we were designed for fellowship. It is GOOD that we do not enjoy being apart. We were born to "assemble together" as one body.
But the truth is? I know that a good deal of my frustration this morning was simply not wanting to do something I didn't want to do. Stubborness. Willfulness. I just want my own way. I like freedom and making up my own mind and going where I want to go.
But what if God is growing something beautiful in this time? What if this lump of clay needs to sit still on the potter's wheel rather than wriggling under His hand as He forms me?
I have often said the last great gift my mama gave me was patience. Impatient naturally, I was 40 years old and homeschooling my three children, when my mama came to live with us. God used her to knock some of my sharper edges back, to smooth a few rough spots, and to sand away daily at that lack of patience. But, oh, it was painful.
In retrospect, as sharp as that time was, and as much as I often felt like I could feel my flesh-y self dying a fiery and humbling death, I would not trade it for anything. In fact, I so wish I had submitted to learning that lesson much earlier, so my early parenting years would have been kinder, gentler.
So I am leaning in to the quiet today. I am not trying to fill my time. I am listening, asking, searching for what I can learn. How can I grow closer to God? How can I be His hands or feet or heart in this time?
Most of all, I must remember, I simply do not have God's eternal perspective. I look at things too often from all the wrong angles, hastily, trying to get back to how I think things should be.
Will you come sit with me, in this time of "safer at home"? Let's make sure to soak up all we can of home, of family, of together. When everything in the world gets back to "normal" - or whatever the new normal may look like - may we never lose the new sense of home we are discovering, the appreciation for time just spent together, the ease and comfort of family, the centrality of home, the anchor of faith.
And, above all,
Noli Timere -