How the world has changed! A month ago we were wondering how Harry and Meghan were going to pay their bodyguards; now we are facing the greatest crisis of our lifetimes. A few weeks ago no one had heard of COVID-19; now all of us have had our lives disrupted by it.
In February, I wrote an article on how the current outbreak is like the SARS outbreak of 2003. I was wrong. This pandemic is more pervasive. In that article I outlined reasons why churches might want to keep their doors open during this time of crisis. Now many are being closed by mandatory lockdowns.
Here in New Zealand we are in the middle of a four-week lockdown. It could be longer. If you are not already in a lockdown or self-quarantine you may be soon. You should prepare. Collect the essentials. Get ready for having your kids home with you 24/7. Make a plan.
“I’m going to watch Netflix for a month.”
Make a better plan.
Every crisis brings an opportunity and a lockdown could be an opportune time for you to try all sorts of new things:
1. Master the art of resting. (If you figure it out, let me know.)
2. Make something with your hands. Plant a herb garden. Paint the spare room. Declutter the garage.
4. Get to grips with that hot potato subject you’ve been hearing about. Are these the last days? Am I eternally secure? What are heavenly rewards under grace? Study a book in the Bible from cover to cover. Study a Bible character. Unpack a tough scripture and find the hidden treasure. (Hint: it probably has something to do with Jesus.)
5. Be salt and light. Send your pastor an encouraging message. Be an active participant in church livestreams. Let the world know you are there. Write to friends you haven’t seen in years. Remind everyone there’s light at the end of the tunnel and that this too shall pass.
6. Start a rock band with your kids. Play games. (We just invented a relay game involving Nerf guns.) Give them a LEGO Masters-type challenge. Make a silly video.
7. Get a Bible reading plan for your teenaged kids. Read a simpler Bible for your younger kids. (I highly recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible.) Take communion. Teach your kids how to cast their anxieties on the Lord.
8. Go star gazing in your back yard. Introduce your kids to the constellations and the Creator who made them. Find out when the International Space Station is flying over and watch it. Check out the Starlink satellites. You don’t need a telescope to see these.
9. Rediscover the joy of reading a book to your kids, one chapter at a time. I highly recommend the Narnia Chronicles. For tweens, give them a copy of my book, The Big House. This week you can get it for free!
Finally, a bonus tip:
11. Make a plan with your family and friends to celebrate when the lockdown ends. Because it will.
Those are my suggestions and frankly they’re pretty average. I’m no lockdown expert. None of us is. So I’d love to here your suggestions, especially if you’re a parent of 4 kids? What’s working for you? Let me know in the comments below.
Newsflash: If you haven’t heard, you can now get a Study Guide to complement The Gospel in Ten Words. It’s completely free!