I can remember as a kid, having to take medicine that tasted awful! Most likely, you remember that too. It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of you reading this article have had to go through the all-out battle of getting a child to take medicine that you know will help them, but which seems like poison to them. We could go into all kinds of stories and memories about those “battles”. Truth is, no one really likes taking the medicine they need in order to get well.
I think most of the issue with medicine is what we have built up in our minds: “This is going to be so bad!” We allow our fears about how bad the medicine will taste lead us to resist taking what will eventually help us.
Before COVID-19 became a part of our everyday vocabulary, we all were moving at an unsustainable pace. It was perfectly normal to work all day, everyday. Parents were spending unbelievable amounts of time trying to get more done. Climbing the corporate ladder, getting that big account, finishing that “important” project…these all were consuming our time. Our kids’ schedules weren’t much different. School, homework, practices, and tournaments on the weekends…the list goes on and on.
We were lucky to eat one meal per week at home as a family. Then, life was abruptly interrupted in mid-March, and we were forced to slow down considerably. And now that life has slowed significantly, we don’t like it one bit! I want to pose a question for you to think about. Were you too busy before COVID-19? I want to present the thought that maybe God is using this time to shift our focus back to what really matters.
Maybe it was all just too much! Perhaps, the most serious and critical result of the fast-paced life before COVID-19 was that we had let it all become more important than God. We had let our busyness replace our commitment to Him. Our priorities were becoming misplaced.
The Bible talks about a Sabbath day of rest. Exodus 31:16-17 says, “Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, observing the Sabbath throughout their generations, as a covenant forever. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”
The Hebrew word for Sabbath simply means, “rest”. I believe it is safe to say we needed the emergency brake applied in our society. We needed to stop the whirlwind and refocus. The Bible speaks of what will happen when we don’t keep the Sabbath day of rest: the result is death. Life is unsustainable without a day of rest and refreshing from God. The Bible teaches us that we should honor the Sabbath and keep it holy (set apart). Have you thought that maybe God could use this time to administer some medicine that we desperately need?
I know it doesn’t taste good. I know that the thought of not going back to “normal” causes us to want to hide under the bed to avoid reality. If we think about it with the wrong perspective, we can quickly let anxiety and fear build up in our minds. However, if we stop for a moment and consider the love of our Heavenly Father, we will begin to see that this is good medicine.
We needed to stop. We needed to spend hours, days, and weeks together as family units. We needed to see how important people and relationships are to us. We needed to see how much a hug and handshake mean. Most of all, we needed to realize God deserves our best. Religion just doesn’t cut it—relationship is what God desires. I pray that we do not go back to normal. I hope that we rearrange what is most important. I pray the medicine does what it is supposed to do, and cures us of the virus of busyness.
Let us open our hearts to hear the voice of our Father as He urges us to move forward into a new normal that will be even better than we could have imagined.