We are accustomed to choice in life. Even in these times of grocery hoarding, take a good long look at profusion of hair care products still available in at your supermarket and you get the picture. We like to have a myriad of choices even in regard to minor matters.
So it is no small inconvenience that many of us find ourselves told to remain in our homes all day. We have no choice. Even for the young and healthy, social contact could aid in the transmission of Covid-19 to vulnerable sectors of the population. So we do the sensible thing; we listen to the advise of our medical authorities and stay home.
We can’t change that we are confined to our houses but we do decide how we will handle it. As my junior high shop teach used to yell at us: “Attitude is everything!” We do have a choice; we get to choose how we handle this time of isolation. Will you resent it, put up with it, or welcome it?
I am going to come out in favor of welcoming it. This epidemic seemed to overtake our lives very quickly; yet none of it was a surprise to God. A few verses from Psalm 31:
14 But I trust in you, Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
15 My times are in your hands;
21 Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he pays back in full.
24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
I attended a seminar a couple years ago taught by Father Sean Kilcawley on an entirely different subject. But during his teaching, he made the point that we get too hung up on every aspect of our lives being planned, even down to our families. Why not see that some of the best gifts we are ever to receive come without our permission and we would be so much the better to gratefully welcome them?
Social isolation may not seem like much of a gift to you right now. But let’s unpack that this week. Let me know what you think. What are the silver linings and upsides? Let us know. And then, on Thursday I want to share a perspective regarding the practice of solitude.
God, my times are in your hands. Be my hope. Hear my cry.