Self-Reflection Through Perilous times
Nothing like having an unexpected amount of free time on your hands to find yourself reflecting on life—its highs and lows. The COVID-19 quarantine was such a time for so many of us here in the United States.
Hitting like a ton of bricks, it was something we didn’t want to believe was actually happening, but ever so slowly—like true Americans—we made our peace with it and settled into a new normal. Face-masks and social distancing became the new buzz-words of our culture.
Last year around this same time, I experienced a broken leg. Right at the bottom of the fibula, where it joins the ankle. The foot was booted and I was limited to getting around on a scooter for eight weeks, then a walker and finally a cane. I found it difficult to accomplish even the simplest of tasks, and it was not a time I would consider one of the “highs” in my life.
This year comes the COVID-19. Not a whole lot more fun than the leg situation, but oh joy, I have my mobility and can spend much of my time muddling around in the yard. It desperately needs my attention.
A yard neglected for an entire season is a mess. It was difficult to even know where to begin. I discovered on-line ordering with a major garden center offering drive-through pickup service (properly masked and gloved, of course!) With their service I procured bags and bags of bulbs, flats of annuals, scads of mulch and a few assorted hand tools. Equipped, I was ready to tackle the yard once more and make it mine. Again. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past eight weeks or so. And the yard is beginning to take shape. But so much more benefit came as a result of my labors.
Regaining Closeness to God
I have always felt that I was closest to God when I was studying the scriptures, preparing lessons, or just enjoying being in the Word. These were my special moments, alone with my God. Nothing will ever replace those special times, but I discovered that good hard labor is also a factor in bringing about additional “God-times.”
As I dirty my hands preparing the soil, weeding out the bad and implanting the new, I find myself talking with God, and listening to what He has to say. I cannot help but marvel at the miracle of His creation. Imagining that it was all made from nothing (“bara”-ed, the Hebrews call it). And from that void, He created a paradise. The tiniest seed grows fragrant flowers, a bush, or even a tree. Each produces its own seed in order to replenish its specie the following season. The miracle of birth and rebirth. Amazing. But that’s not the half of it.
In His infinite wisdom, God chose to make us—you and me—a part of His plan. He gave us the responsibility to “till the earth and subdue it” and to “rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” [Genesis 1:28] When Jesus came along, He added to the assignment that we should become “fishers of men.” [Matthew 4:19]
Wow! We are responsible for the health and safety of this planet and the spiritual well-being of its entire population. But Jesus tells us His load is not heavy. Why? Because He is with us the whole way. He is there to help, to teach, and to encourage. And He equips with everything we need to accomplish the task. With Jesus at the helm, all things are possible.