The nation (and most of the world), is in lockdown. For months restrictions have been placed on us. There isn’t a person in the country that hasn’t been affected. Families have been unable to visit each other, shopping has changed for ever, in time we will have to come to terms with a new normal.
Despite the restrictions I consider myself very fortunate. I have been able to do something that before lockdown I was thrilled to be able to take some time away from. Since lockdown, I have been happy to be able to leave the house and go to work. That’s not to say it’s been easy. Work too has changed. Routine has disappeared. Tasks that used to fill the day are now completed in a fraction of the time. Tests that didn’t exist a few months ago now take up more than a full day’s work. There is little expectation that numbers of Coronavirus tests to be performed will decrease anytime soon. Perhaps the type of test to be carried out will change from testing to see if someone has the virus to testing to see if they have already had it (the promised antibody test). My suspicion is that somehow, we will be expected to find a way to do both.
I know of others who have not been outside their own home since lockdown started. They have had to communicate with the outside world and their family through windows and online.
Many of you will either have had similar experiences, or variations on these two extremes.
The question I want to ask you is while you are restricted in movement, with time to do things that are out of the ordinary for you, what are you thinking about?
Some will be dreaming of life after lockdown, to getting back to the things that they used to do. Others will be thinking about holidays they want to go on, or simply to be able to walk around without fear.
For a lot of people, fear really is gripping them. They are struggling to cope without interaction with others. Sitting at home with no outlet can be crippling.
When Paul and Timothy wrote to the church at Philippi, they gave some suggestions for things to think about.
They wrote “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is an excellence, if anything is worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Don’t let fear take hold. Life will never be the same as it was before coronavirus. We need to get used to a new normal. The more we think about true, honourable, just, pure, lovely and commendable things, the more we will be able to shape whatever the new normal is into something that is better than that which we have had to leave behind.