“I have found it is the small things. Everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love.”
The greatest sermon ever preached we call the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). In it, Jesus speaks to many issues of life including many that are quite applicable to today (as is everything else He ever taught BTW). Much of the text references what we may consider “small things” but in His teaching they are quite large in importance… rejoicing, salt, light, discipline, faithfulness, love, generosity, prayer, greed, birds, flowers, trees…when was the last time you thought about trees?
I‘m writing this blog today because I want to encourage you spiritually and practically. I know many of you are rightfully anxious about the Coronavirus and its impact on you, your family and friends. Let’s pause for a few minutes. Let’s explore “small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk” that we can do while sequestered over the next days. Maybe they’ll help keep “darkness at bay”.
Here’s a list of ideas…would love to hear yours too!
First of all please pray. Prayer is a powerful tool we’ve been given by God to reach out to Him. Pray for your friends and family, medical workers, those who are sick, those who are afraid and those who do not have nearly the resources that we have. And give thanks…we are blessed in many ways.
Listen to the leaders about staying home, social distancing, etc. The countries that have done this well, even those close to China, are having good results.
Start a daily quiet time. Repetition creates habits. Accountability helps. Try partnering with a friend to do a quiet time every day for the next four weeks. Read a passage of the Bible…journal what you feel or think or learn from it. Pray about it. Get on the phone with your partner daily to talk about what you thought. Suggestion for a good relevant starting place is Matthew 6. Don’t stop doing this daily. You’ll find it to be a lifelong place of peace and understanding.
Put your phone down. Play with the kids. Teach them a game. Read a book with them. Become the home school teacher. Go for a walk (outdoors of course, not in the mall). Pray together. These will be times together well remembered.
If you don’t have a home church seek one out online. Many churches have online videos of recent messages (ours is journeytn.com). Now is a great time to listen in and find one that you would like to visit once the services start up again.
Don’t stop being generous with your church and those non-profits who are out on the front lines caring for others. Do not stop over financial worries. God will take care of you. If you are out of work and can’t give money you can still give. Clean out your closets, garages and cabinets! You’ll be amazed at how much stuff you have that you really don’t need that may be helpful to others.
Stop listening to misinformation from talking heads, social media and the other outlets that causes you great anxiety. If you want the latest information on the state of the Coronavirus skip the theatrics and go straight to the most informed…your personal physician, the CDC or WHO.
Do household chores or projects. It’ll make you feel productive and give you a great sense of accomplishment. Clean the garage or basement or the back porch. Touch up paint on a wall or two. Do that little home improvement project you’ve been putting off.
Make a pot of beans. I’m not kidding. Start with some dried beans, soak them overnight and cook them from scratch. Flavor them with an onion and a few ordinary spices like salt and pepper. Maybe prepare a little rice to have with the beans. Now you’ve joined the majority of the world in what is for many their only daily sustenance. Join them.
Read a good book…remember reading?
Reach out to those you know may be in a bad place…encourage them, pray with them and find out if there are practical ways to help them.
We are a very busy society…sometimes too busy. Some wear their “busy ness” as their identity. God is giving you some time to learn to rest. He models it in Genesis, Jesus models it throughout the gospels. Try to take a breath and just rest.
I hope this message reaches you all in good health and good spirits. I hope all of you can find something of interest and value to you here. Love y’all, God bless you.
I Corinthians 13