As published on Christian Today Australia 16/4/20
While isolation is good for everyone at this time, it does pose some interesting conundrums (besides the obvious). For instance; a common question that floats around our household of six in these strange times is—”what day is it?”
Previously, my day would be bookended with school drop-offs and pick-ups, after school activities, band rehearsals, art classes and the list goes on. In between and after these times, were working hours which I could easily knuckle down into because I had work to do and my time was limited.
Where have my bookends gone?
Now without school hours and appointments throughout the day, I find I am having to be more attentive to our daily routine, work out what is important, and keep to schedule so as to make the most of each day.
Though this seems to be working well for myself, my youngest children may not be so on track—it feels a little like holidays for them.
To help with this, I have come up with some novel ideas to answer their questions in remembering what day it is. This is what I tell them:
- “Look at your phone—the home screen on your phone gives a clear indication of the time, day and date.”
That is probably all they need to know. However, if they find themselves away from their phone (very unlikely), they can always check the calendar hanging on the wall. If not, they should definitely ask someone!
Now that we have some obvious solutions sorted, here are some other ideas that I find help a week feel like a week, rather than an unending number of days rolling into each other.
When days roll into each other…
Having worked from home for many years, I have found that keeping specific work hours is very important. It is a great temptation to keep working beyond these hours when work is within your grasp, within your home. Self-discipline has to come into practice here, because family mealtimes are important, as is time to wind down at the end of the day in order to get a good sleep.
As tempting as it is to stay in pyjamas or don a pair of tracksuit pants, I find dressing for work on workdays helps me get into a “work” frame of mind. It also helps distinguish weekends from weekdays where dressing down feels more relaxing and enjoyable for the weekend.
Sunday is church day, and, although we can now sit on a comfy lounge in our pyjamas to watch church online, scheduling it as a special time of the week is important. I look forward to Sunday as it is a day designated for rest (the Sabbath). On this day I can rest without feeling guilt, because that is the purpose of this day, as designed by God.
A day of rest
It seems the whole world has been given a day of rest. Some are taking it and using the time to reset, refresh and take stock of their lives. Others are orienting their way through the panic and the horror of what has unfolded before us, and many are navigating job and income loss.
Others are sacrificing their lives on the front line in emergency services to care for those who have been infected with the virus and who are fighting for their lives. To these people we humbly give our greatest admiration and gratefulness and try to stay as healthy as possible by staying home, in order to save them from more work. We pray for them.
We have a choice—blessing or curse
Some people will go through this crisis and curse God. Yet others will go through this and seek God—and those who seek Him will find Him. We know this to be true, because it says in Jeremiah chapter 29 verses 13-14:
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes…”
Many have experienced this for themselves and know the peace of God that transforms us from the inside out.
What day is it then?
So, I guess in trying to work out what day it is, we are trying to work out—what is important for Today?
In Hebrews chapter three, Paul talks about ‘Today’. He refers to earlier Scriptures when the Israelites—after seeing all the deliverance of the Lord and many incredible miracles during their 40 years in the wilderness—hardened their hearts and missed out on entering God’s rest. God warns them and says that now is the time—Today—to choose God.
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness.” (Hebrews chapter 3 verses 7-8)
‘Today’ then, is the most important day. Regardless of our schedules and worries of life, ‘Today’ is the day we can make decisions that change tomorrow—decisions that change our eternity.
In Matthew chapter six we are told not to be anxious about anything for our Heavenly Father already knows what we need; we are not to be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself (verse 34).
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew chapter 6 verses 33-34)
So, if your children (or yourself) continue to ask what day it is, tell them it is ‘Today’. Do what you can today, and ‘Today’ if you hear His voice, choose to enter into His rest—choose to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour.
It will be the most important thing you’ll ever do.
“My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John chapter 14 verse 27)
©Rebecca Moore 2020