I confess that one of the hardest things for me to accept during these days of “social distancing” is that the sports world has almost literally shut down. There is no professional basketball. No March Madness. No Spring Training baseball games, and “opening day” has been suspended. What’s a guy like me supposed to do? I told my wife the other day that we’ll probably have to actually talk to each other. I’m kidding about the last sentence, of course.
It’s important for all of us to readjust our lives and our schedules during these days when many of us feel trapped at home. Let’s face it, many of the regular things we do have been canceled, and the places we go are closed. The felling of isolation may be especially true for our oldest family or church members. They may feel more secluded and alone than anyone.
I have listed below some practical suggestions for those of us with extended time at home.
- Maintain a disciplined schedule.
During times of crisis it is especially important to maintain our regular individual time with God. Followers of Christ should discipline themselves to spend some time each day in God’s Word and in prayer. Practicing this habit is very important during a time when people are inundated with negative and fearful thoughts. God’s Word can provide hope, encouragement, comfort, and Godly motivation during times like this.
- Guard your thought life.
This suggestion is complimentary to the last idea, but a bit more specific. God’s people should learn to limit their consumption of digital content. This is also really important – Christian parents should help their children and teenagers limit their time on digital devices. Why not take some time to read or to journal?
- Get outside as often as you can.
This may be the ideal opportunity to spend some time outside in God’s creation. Plus, it will probably prove essential to get some exercise each day. Even with all of the current limitations we can still enjoy and appreciate the beauty and simple majesty of nature. Even if the weather is bad – we can put on our winter coats and grab an umbrella. The important thing is to get outside each day, look around, and thank the Lord for the wonder His creation.
- Connect with others.
We all need to figure out how to make connections with others every day. I know that meetings and group settings are to be avoided, but we need each other. It’s really important for us to be intentional about getting together with other people. Of course, we need to be careful, but we can call our friends and fellow church members. We can talk over the fence with our neighbors. We can utilize technology like Facetime or Facebook messenger. Plus, we can’t forget to get help (medical, physical, emotional, or spiritual) if we need it.
- Think of ways to minister and serve.
While we are thinking about connecting with others, let’s not forget about ways to minister to other people. We should all check in on the vulnerable people we know to make sure they are okay. We can still utilize our spiritual gifts even during times of crisis. Undoubtedly there will be people around us that have needs and this may prove to be the ideal time to reach out to them. It may be as simple as going to the grocery store for someone or baking chocolate chip cookies. Plus, we can certainly pray for each other!
We don’t have to feel isolated, but our strategy must be intentional and purposeful.