Do you feel trapped? Stuck at home? Tired of the shelter at home mandate? Do you have some cabin fever? Concerns about how all this plays out for our economy? Have you been laid off work and nervous about making ends meet? Has the term “quarantine” taken on a whole new meaning to you?
Truthfully, I didn’t even know how to spell quarantine ten days ago and only had a vague sense of it’s definition – something for people who were sick and contagious so everyone else didn’t catch it. In the recent days, quarantine has taken on a whole new level of meaning for me, along with chest congestion, ventilators, social distancing, face masks, etc. Just to be clear, I’m not sick, nor is anyone in my family, other than we might be sick of each other and need some family distancing once we navigate the current COVID hurdle. We have three teenagers at home, so the idea of Quaren-Teen can have some fresh intensity depending on the phase of the moon.
With that said, I’ve been reading about Noah and the Great Flood in Genesis 6-9 in recent days. It’s been interesting to think about the Flood as a global catastrophe paralleled with the current pandemic and it’s global impact, which is yet to determined. It’s important to note that the current COVID crisis isn’t the first global cataclysm. And it can accurately be observed that Noah and his family had their own unique shelter in place/quarantine thing happening on the ark along with the animals under their care.
As I read about the Great Flood, I couldn’t help but think about the reaction of Noah and his family on the ark. For starters, the flood lasted 40 days and nights with rain coming down from the sky as well as the fountains of the earth below, bursting open. I can’t help but think that maybe some of Noah’s family was nervous, maybe frazzled, scared, unsettled, panicky, stressed out, alarmed and maybe terrified as they listened to the continual rain and water pouring everywhere around them, except in the ark. Perhaps they didn’t really enjoy the whole boat sailing them around and maybe some of them got sea sick?
Once the 40 days of deluge finished, I would think they might have appreciated some of the quiet in contrast to the thunder, pouring rain and waves beating against the ark. Noah and his family endured a very unique quarantine that lasted around one whole year. When they finally left the ark, the world had been washed, so to speak, and both the animals and Noah’s family walked into a new world.
This makes me think about our current quarantine situation and I’d like to suggest a few things that might be helpful for us at this time:
1 – Be careful not to allow the winds, waves, storms and noise of the COVID crisis replace Jesus’ peace in your heart. To this end, I’d encourage you to monitor and regulate how much news you take in on a daily basis.
2 – If you’re in quarantine with others, be mindful to give people space as well as interaction, maybe doing some movies together, taking turns with cooking, switching up cleaning jobs, doing some puzzles/card games together balanced with some solitude.
3 – Get some fresh air as you’re able. Take a walk, open the windows, find some grass to enjoy (not weed) and look at the sky. God is in control, full stop.
4 – Keep some ongoing conversations and interactions with people not in your quarantine context. Have some virtual coffee appointments, watch a movie with a friend on Zoom, Facetime, or over the phone, etc.
5 – Allow this time to help you grow closer to God by being more consistent with your time in the Bible and in prayer.
When Noah walked out of the ark, God made a covenant with him to be connected with humanity after such a global catastrophe. May we come out of this pandemic knowing God better and walking more closely with God than when all this stuff started. The silver lining on this cloudy experience is that we can live in closer intimacy with God, even quarantined with three teenagers. In full disclosure, I’m really enjoying my time with my kids!! I love their humor, creativity, wittiness, banter and I love getting time with them, full stop!
Feel free to add any suggestions you’ve found helpful at this time!