COMMENT

'So much of what filled my time has been taken away. I'm thankful!' | COVID-19 lockdown

TIME TO BREATHE: David Robinson has been spending time outside simply enjoying the wonderful weather and colours of Autumn. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK.
TIME TO BREATHE: David Robinson has been spending time outside simply enjoying the wonderful weather and colours of Autumn. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK.

It turns out my family are really nice!

Of course I already knew that. But the last few weeks have been a great reminder.

Just a few weeks ago life was normal. My wife and I would run between our respective jobs during the day. In the evening we'd race the kids from one activity to the next. If I had any spare time at all the best I could often do was sit in front of the telly and try not to fall asleep.

But in the space of a few short press conferences our governments have turned life upside down. So much of what filled my time has been taken away. And you know what? I'm thankful!

It's not that what I have lost was bad. Nor is it that there is never any sadness or frustration over what is lost. It's just that what has filled my time is so much better! I've enjoyed far more time hanging out with my wife and kids. Time spent reading some of those books that I never get to. Time spent outside simply enjoying the wonderful weather and colours of Autumn.

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In truth, I have often let my life get overwhelmed by distraction. Like so many people today I'm busy. There are so many good things to do and I want to pack as many of them in as I can.

But too often I allow good things to become more important than they really are. The result is that the most important things in life are given far less time and energy than they deserve.

And so I am thankful to be forced to take this moment to pause and reevaluate.

As a Christian, I believe that death is followed by resurrection. The Bible tells me this is true and experience keeps showing me just how reliable the really Bible is.

Of course the clearest example of this in the Bible is Easter. Christian hope is found in the fact that Jesus died and was raised to new life.

Nothing is more important than His death and resurrection. But the Christian life is also spoken of in these terms.

Jesus speaks of man needing to be 'born again'. The life of faith is spoken of as being brought from death to life. The end of the Bible holds out the promise of eternity with God having made 'all things new'.

Could it be that we are experiencing a little death and resurrection moment now? Could it be that the way we have been living has been so filled with distractions that some of it needs to 'die' so that we can refocus on what is truly important?

As I reflect on my experience I am sure that this is the case. So many of the things I have often neglected are among the greatest gifts which God has given me.

Rather than following Jesus, I've followed what distracts me. And it is this which makes me so thankful for this moment in which God has killed off many of the distractions from my life.

Because it is only as these distractions are cleared that my life is being filled with what God tells me, and experience proves, is so much better. Without death there can be no resurrection.

Soon all of this will be over. I'm sure that some things will go back to normal in my house when all of this is done. But I hope that normal never looks the same. I particularly hope that I do a better job listening to what Jesus tells me is best.

After all, it should be no surprise that the one who made us and this world would also know the best way to live in his world. And so while it is sad and frustrating at times, I am thankful to God for this time to refocus my life.