I keep seeing these social media posts that talk about resting and spending more time with loved ones and spending time “being”. While this may be an opportunity for some, it can’t be generalized to everyone. Health care workers are working insane hours, as well as employees at restaurants trying to adapt to take out and grocery stores using safe practices. Not to mention with schools being closed moms are trying to learn how to encourage learning for their kids. For me as a senior in college, this time of life has not proven to be slower. Online classes are such a blessing and I am grateful for them. But trying to navigate a completely new system is difficult. Trying to figure out how to do group projects from a distance is difficult. Honestly, even trying to focus in class while there are dirty dishes on the counter is so hard for me.
I initially went into this quarantine with the idea that I wanted to get really good at everything I do. I thought, “With all my free time… I’ll get really good at watercolor, and learn a TON of music theory, oh maybe even read all of the books on my shelf”. But there still isn’t enough time in the day. I still feel like I’m struggling to keep up with all of the changes, focus on my computer long enough to get through class, and I am behind on a lot of class readings. If God is using this time to slow us all down, why do I feel like life speed was just increased threefold?
Lessons learned this Lent
I’m currently reading a book about Lent. I think Lent and Advent may be my two new favorite holidays (idk if they count as holidays, but here we are). This book has a section by an American historian and theology professor at Duke school of divinity, Lauren Winner, that I really enjoyed and would love to share with you. In this passage she is referencing Psalms such as Psalm 29, which talks about God’s power and glory.
“That the barriers between the circumstances of oneself and the rest of the world might break down: that is one of the invitations of Lent. That the barriers between me and God might break down. If I approach lent with a genuine desire to follow Jesus into the wilderness, it will be a season in which God’s voice may break some cedars in my own backyard. It will be a season of storms, some of which God will protect me from, some of which God will provoke — and in all of that, God will be present.”
Regardless of how my classes go (though I work hard), regardless of how many days in a row I get my lazy butt off the couch, regardless of how many new chords I learn on my guitar. My desire for this time has changed. No matter how much free time I find myself having (or not having) I choose to let God use this time to be present with me. To break down whatever barriers He finds between me and Him.
The reason that I enjoy her thoughts so much is that we are currently in a time of wilderness that no one could have possibly predicted. We are wandering in a state of life that is unknown and the outcome is unsure – and it affects everyone in a different way. Maybe for some people it was time, for others trust, for others being still even in the midst of complete chaos. I pray that this holy week, we all take time to ask God to break down our cedars and trust that He is with us. For Christians, we get to wait in this strange season of Lent knowing the outcome. That on Sunday, the tomb was empty, the veil was torn, our Savior is risen. And in the meantime, while we wait, we wait in the reassurance that God is with us.