We took an hour today.
Ironically, being contained on our property and in our home over these past few weeks, we have spent little time actually “together.” The weekdays are taken up with a structured schedule of school, working on the property, doing chores, eating food (and having 2nd, 3rd, and 4th lunch…), Zoom meetings, and tv time.
I have felt a void where church, physically-present relationships, and spiritual engagement once was. While I still read my Bible every day and have been doing my morning praying for our kids (and some of you!) during Lent, I’ve felt like our whole family was just going through the motions, trying to make it through each day without too much frustration and still trying to be productive in our jobs remotely.
This morning, we took an hour. We started with a conversation with our kids about where we are with this whole virus. We talked about the reality that in-person school may very well be postponed until the fall. We talked about the devastation, fear, and anxiety many people are feeling. We talked about how we can be helping to meet the needs of those who aren’t as fortunate as us.
Then, we dismissed them to their rooms and asked them to connect with God for a ½ hour—however that may look…reading their Bibles, playing their guitar, praying, singing, or even just sitting and being quiet. We asked them to come out afterwards with whatever insight they wanted to share. There was complete silence for 30 minutes. Not a peep or a squeak. A ½ hour later, we all gathered in our family room. Each of our kids shared what they learned, discovered, or thought during that ½ hour of quiet. It was beautiful and moving to hear what each of them shared.
We ended by opening up a time of prayer. We didn’t force anyone to pray, just said whoever wanted to, could. And each one of us was moved to pray.
That one hour was the most connected, content and hopeful I have felt in the last 2.5 weeks. It was a reminder that we are not in control, but that we put our faith in a God who is. It was a reminder that we are blessed, and that we are called to bless others. It was a reminder that the world can be a very dark place, but we are called to be a light in that darkness.
I encourage you: take an hour. It doesn’t have to look like what we did, but take an hour to connect with your kids or those who are in your home. Take an hour to sit and just be still. No TV, no phone, no music. Just quiet. Take an hour to contemplate the things that are important. Take an hour to replenish your emotional and spiritual bank accounts, whatever that may look like. Just take an hour. You will feel refreshed.