May 4, 2020 - Quarantine
When I woke up this morning, my wife shared with me an acrostic that a dear friend of ours had sent us. I share it because it has so much meaning for us during this quarantining period. I do not know where it originated or who the author is, but I hope you will find meaning in it.
Q--Quiet your soul
U--Unite as one with God
A--Act with Godly love
R--Read your Bible
A--Activate your faith
N--Nourish your soul
T--Talk with God
I--Intercede for others
N--Nestle in the presence of God
E--Elevate God in worship
I am a firm believer that covid-19 is going to be around for quite sometime, so we might as well make some significant changes in our lifestyles. I think the word quarantine can help us make some of those changes. The meaning of quarantine is a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious diseases are placed.
During this period of time in which we are in isolation, we can work on changing some of our behaviors. One of those behavior changes is complaining. Did you know that complaining is a contagious disease? Think about it. If you hang out with people who complain all the time, before you know anything, you have caught the disease. It happens so quickly that you can't figure out how you contacted the disease. That's the time we need to start practicing social distancing from some of our associates. Do you know people who can only see the negative side of things rather than the positives, even in trivial matters? It's a disease that we need to quarantine ourselves from. It is hard for me to phantom people complaining that they have to stay home, especially when we know that there is a death sentence awaiting us if we do not comply to what the experts are telling us. One of the attributes of my dear father-in-law was that he would not complain about anything, for he believed God had a purpose and plan for everything that happened. Stop complaining, for life is still good! Please know there is a difference in venting and complaining.
Something else we can do while in isolation is stop gossiping. I have come to tell you it is a contagious disease. Hang out with a gossiper long enough and your conversations will begin to become juicy and gossipy in every regard. Now if something is true, it is not gossip, but if you do not know what you are talking about, we should isolate gossip. Put on a face covering or mask which will make it difficult to share gossipy conversations with others might be a good thing.
The point today is to suggest we start operating in the positives rather than the negatives. All day long we hear the negative things that are presently taking place throughout the world, but there are so many positive things we can concentrate on like those in the acrostic I shared earlier.
Let us even find positive things to do. Isolate yourselves from eating too much, for it will lead to an unhealthy body and mind that may lead to unnecessary illnesses. Some positive things we can do in this regard is exercise, take a walk, get to know one another and appreciate people all around you.
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, suggests that we guard ourselves against complaining. "Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:14-15
Someone said that Job complained without sinning, why because he was dissatisfied with a fallen world and he yearned for God's redemption.
As children of God, may we quarantine ourselves against complaining about small matters, for it is unbecoming for children of God!
Not a sermon, just a thought!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor