I don’t know about you, but I had big plans for these quarantined days at home. I was going to work on my writing, including writing a first draft of a middle grade novel, submit numerous pieces to magazines, revise first drafts, get really consistent with my blog, start a YouTube channel for lesson in ELA, on top of training for a marathon, homeschooling the kids, spring-cleaning the house, doing home-improvement projects, and planning for the equivalent of a doomsday garden. (I might keep that name; it has a nice ring, dontcha think?)
I would be the perfect puppet master and all my puppets would dance and sing.
Then reality hit.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who looked at the blank spaces in my calendar and felt the squeezing desire not to waste any of this time we suddenly find in abundance. “We have all this time! We better do all the things we’ve been putting off for years!”
I honestly think it’s a reaction to the chaos we are suddenly living. The world is upside down and we respond by grabbing onto all the little strings of puppets we CAN control.
I have a wicked newsflash for you:
We are not in control.
That’s a hard, jagged little pill to swallow, isn’t it? We plan our lives so ruthlessly that when something small cuts the strings, we stress, worry, and grow anxious.
The Bible says, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
And right there is the problem: we’re forgetting the one place we should be casting our cares–to the one who can actually DO something about it.
This entire pandemic and safe at home experience has shaken everyone out of their mindless puppet mastering, because there is absolutely nothing we can do to stop this from happening. However the fear and terror is not the end of the story, but rather the first act.
Your Father is in control, and I truly think he is using this time to pull children back to him, make us grateful for our relationships and opportunities for worship, and redefine what we consider a priority.
Imagine what the world will look like when this is all over: children squealing to play with their friends at a playground again. Churches filled to the brim with brothers and sisters in Christ joyously worshiping with each other. Coworkers smiling and greeting each other with love and warmth. Families who have set new traditions together like “Pizza Picnic Friday” and “Sunday Night Puzzle Night.”
Sure, it seems we have plenty to worry about, but I think this might be a gentle wake up call for many: You are not the master of puppets, but a child of God who will receive blessings through this trial.
It’s okay to want to clean the house or paint your sun room. It’s fine to create a schedule for your children’s schooling and start working on that novel. It’s all fine.
But it’s also fine if you just need a minute to wrap your mind around the adjustment and spend a few days in prayer. It’s ok to cry that your life suddenly looks so lonely and empty, and the end seems so very far away.
However, do not forget to rest and repose on the one who can receive all your anxieties and fears and ease them. Trust that the Lord of all of heaven and earth is fighting on your side.
God’s got this.