Enjoying the Journey
If you are a teenager I am quite sure that your social life has been disrupted and your school year has been less than you imagined. (Or perhaps, better than you imagined – depending on your perspective!) After a few days at home most young people begin to get bored. Maybe you are way past that.
First let me say, join the club. We are all a little stir crazy. The truth is that throughout life there will be things that disappoint and interrupt. The sooner you can learn to accept and adapt to these changes the better your whole life will be.
Please do not think that I am minimizing the impact that COVID-19 has had on your life. Our sophomore in college is home finishing her semester online and adjusting to a new work schedule. We have a freshman in high school and a high school senior who will not return to their “normal” this year, but have now joined the ranks of many others studying at home. My travel and preaching schedule has come to a screeching halt. Perhaps you have heard this recently from government leaders: “We are all in this together!”Last night I had the privilege of joining my friends Kurt Skelly and Al Stone for an online discussion about this very subject. I was so helped by their thoughts and encouraged to look to the Lord. You can watch the conversation with our host, John Oleyar, here.
How can you not only get through this time, but come out on the other side stronger? Here are a few thoughts I shared last night that may be a help to you…
- Get closer to God than ever. This is the perfect time for a fresh start in your Bible and prayer. You can’t be with your friends right now but you can talk to Him anytime! All of our excuses are gone – it’s time to get real.
- Enjoy your family. The longest lasting relationships in life are with your family. God gave them to you and you to them. Work at improving those relationships and enjoying time together. Learn to laugh and have some fun with the people under your own roof. You will be glad you did the rest of your life.
- Guard yourself. It is easy in idle time to look and listen to the wrong things. Your eyes and ears are gates to your heart and mind. Set limits for yourself and don’t let circumstances or evil influences determine your thoughts and emotions. Refuse to let down time become “down” time.
- Concentrate on what you have, not what you don’t. We all have the tendency to focus on what we think we are missing. Keep a grateful heart. Don’t grumble and complain. You are alive, healthy, and blessed. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
- Find some way to minister to others. One sure way not to get fixated on your self or your situation is to think about the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing to your family. Call a friend who is having a hard time. Do something nice for someone who truly is a “shut-in.” Post some encouragement to your social media. God can use you right where you are!
The rest of your life you will tell people that you lived through the global pandemic of 2020! It will become a point of reference. And you will be able to say that you not only survived – you learned more about God and what is most important.
Like every other season in life, this will pass. Life will go on. My prayer for you is that you will come to know God in a more personal way at this time. That will help you the rest of your life.