“Stay home”, said our Prime Minister. And we stayed home. Not that it was easy, at first. I mean the weather has been incredible. But we stayed home. And we took up new projects. I tried (and struggled) to learn the euphonium, ate and worked.
The time in isolation has been challenging too with financial, relational and other pressures. But we are slowly returning to normality. Our rhythms will soon begin to reset. So perhaps it’s time to reflect on what we have learned. What have we learned about joy, contentment, business or frustration?
The Ecclesiastes, in the Bible, we read the story of a man on a search for meaning and joy in life. He seeks everywhere, finding everything his heart desires. And yet, as he reflects on it, he sees that so much of his energy, effort and stress in life was just (in his words) a “chasing after the wind”.
I wonder which things that isolation has forced upon us we will choose to keep? I wonder if this time of slowness, and simplicity has helped us to see that life’s meaning isn’t in so many of the things that we pack into it. Perhaps it’s been a chance to enjoy time with family. Or the chance to create something with the unique abilities God has given us all. Hopefully – confronted by our mortality – it’s been a chance to reflect on the big questions of life. Who are we? What have we been building our lives on? Have we been ‘chasing after the wind’?
We remain in isolation, for now. But let’s grow through it. I pray that this remaining time of isolation and quietness would be a time in which we find renewed faith, hope and joy in the God who offers it to us.
Mr Dan Odell