Some view social distancing as an imposition. Others view it as respect for others. It’s the context we have right now; it’s framed within a pandemic. But…Jesus social distanced, too. His was a different context, driven by a different need. He spent time in the wilderness for weeks before beginning a public ministry. He often retreated to the wilderness or awoke early before the sun rose in order to spend time with God. Our away or alone time isn’t intended to simply pass with movies and sleep. What we define as down time, away from others or perhaps even in the quietness of others’ company, can be much more purposeful at times. It might be a step away or distance from others but a step toward and intimacy with God.
I wonder much time we’re wasting as we just try to make it through this odd season.
Yes, it is challenging, and we can’t ignore the frustrations and adjustments, but perhaps God is prompting us to separate for a purpose or preparation beyond what we frequently see as a season of irritation, justification for getting riled up about guidelines, or a restrictive quagmire that keeps our circle small, inhibiting us from connecting with and influencing others. What if we need this time and space to prepare us for something ahead? What if we need this time and space to strengthen our faith, to weed through the unnecessary and misconceptions that infect our relationship with him? What if this is a time to purify and simplify? What if we see the opportunities God is presenting us? What if we’re missing out because we refuse to see anything beyond our inconveniences and discomfort? What if we’ll look back and miss what could have been in this unique season? Instead, what if we retreat and sit in God’s presence long enough and still enough to listen and learn and savor?
Set aside some time today and be intentional with stillness. Ask, seek, knock.