It’s easy to gripe right now about everything I don’t like about this world pandemic.
But this week I decided to focus on what I LOVE that I didn’t realize was so enjoyable until the world started going awry. Sometimes we don’t realize what makes our hearts sing until we’re in a situation where we have to start counting our blessings.
Here are four things I discovered I love – despite this crummy state of the world:
- Worshiping the Unchanging One. In a world that has changed so much — and alongside predictions of what might never again be the same — I’m finding much joy in worshipping the One who is age to age the same, and will never change. As I wrote in my devotional book, God’s Whispers to a Woman’s Heart, “[God is] my Rock, not my Roller Coaster — my immovable Rock of Refuge to whom I can always go.” Worship draws us closer to God’s heart. God may be arranging this time to get up close and personal with His children, so let’s take advantage of this time to get up close and personal with Him.
- Hitting the trails every morning and afternoon. I’m blessed to live in a part of the country where the weather is extremely nice this time of the year (all year, really). I’m getting up earlier to run some scenic park trails and I’m leaving my desk in the late afternoons to take reflection walks with God. Never before has it meant so much to me to be outdoors. And never before have I actually seen the results of God resetting creation. I can’t say this enough: There is a freshness to the outdoor world from less cars on the road, less chemicals polluting our air, less people and ships trashing our oceans. I’m seeing more butterflies, and hummingbirds, and even spotted a hawk soaring low over my head last week. I’m noticing a re-emergence of squirrels, little groundhogs, and other critters on the trails where they haven’t been spotted for years. And even though I run into an occasional snake now and then, I wouldn’t miss the beautiful time outdoors in the cool of the evening. It makes me think of the time (and how glorious it must have been) when God walked with man in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). Hitting the trails, breathing in the fresh air, seeing the array of spring colors reminds me that “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 24:1).
- Receiving packages from Amazon Prime. Let me clarify this one. Amazon is an author’s (and a bookstore’s) worst enemy. It has driven down the cost of books to where many writers get less than a dollar each for copies of their hard-earned work. Amazon is closing bookstores (and many other kinds of businesses) across the country and it’s the only business (besides maybe Chick-fil-A) that has flourished since the world experienced a quarantine. (Of all the conspiracy theories going around right now about who started this pandemic and why, the one that makes the most sense to me is the one I haven’t yet heard anyone mention — that Amazon did this to take over the world and gain a monopoly on most of the world’s commerce.) Despite how this monster has monopolized nearly every business, it is still fun to get packages in the mail with free next day shipping, and sometimes even same day! And after ordering an out-of-print edition of the Bible called The Promise, and having it shipped directly to my mom on the East Coast, it was super cool to hear my Amazon Alexa tell me (as I was sitting down to breakfast) “The Promise has arrived!” 🙂 More importantly, Amazon Prime has allowed me to discover something else that I absolutely love…
- Sending smiles through the mail. I used to shudder at the cost of shipping anything. Yet, I can now (with my Amazon Prime account) send activity color books to my nephews in Los Angeles so their mom can get maybe 40 minutes of peace and quiet. I enjoyed sending workout shirts to my college friend, Joani, my sister in law, Sophie, and my sister, Kristi (who usually only see packages come in the mail for their kids), and they each delighted me by texting pics of themselves wearing the shirts. My friend’s 7-year-old daughter, Estelle, received a Princess necklace-making set in time for her birthday party on Zoom next week. And I love sending my 83-year-old Dad his favorite Disneyland Resort-themed coffee (from www.Joffreys.com) so he can not only enjoy a cup himself in the mornings, but bring some to friends (while keeping a safe distance away) to provide some momentary cheer in their lives, too. I never realized surprise gift-giving through the mail could bring so much joy to my heart and the hearts of others.
What have you discovered that you love during this time when the world is on pause? I’d love to hear it in the comment section below. (And if you can’t think of anything immediately, ask God to show you the positive side of this pandemic and what He’s been doing in your life as you’ve had to slow down and do things differently.)
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