Hard times tend to bring out the best or the worst in people. This is because hard times force people to make decisions, whether that is positive change, negative habits, or pathetic stagnation.
Some double down on their predilection for politics. They post online about their favorite politician or against their hated politician, trying to score political points for their side. As I write, my governor and our president are currently in a spat. Such fighting helps no one during a crisis, and I would love both groups to stop the Twitter barbs and get to work. It’s been said that it takes two to tango. It also takes two to tangle.
So really, what can be done about this virus? For most of us, all we can do is sit in quarantine in our houses. Others of us go to work, helping at the hospital, police department, or grocery store. What all of us can do is use this to change in positive ways. It would be a shame if you leave your quarantine the same person that you were when you entered it.
Accordingly, I am going to list 4 things that you can do to use this time wisely.
#1 Choose something productive to do for others.
The lazy person claims, “There is a lion outside! If I go outside, I might be killed!” (Prov. 22:13-NLT)
Some folks use any disruption as an excuse. “Oh well,” some say, “I guess I’ll sit and watch Netflix.” Others might say, “Well, I can’t work. I guess I’ll play video games until 4 o’clock in the morning.” While TV and video games have their time and place, they should not occupy your whole life.
What can you do for others? Do you have a skill that others need? Some of you are skilled at sewing. Can you make masks for folks who are working in health care? I work at a local hospital, and I am very thankful for those who have donated masks.
If you are not good at sewing, perhaps you can help in other ways. Perhaps you are not an at-risk age/health group. Could you help someone who is—maybe get them groceries, or run errands? Maybe you can share beautiful music. I know that I have been comforted by the outpouring of music over social media. Other than the people who are still promoting politics 24/7, I have been amazed at the love and care people are showing to each other online. Let’s do even more.
#2 Find some time to create.
Do you have a book you’ve always wanted to write? Then write it! Write that book, compose that song, knit that blanket, construct that puzzle. There are few things more fulfilling than creating.
#3 Get some exercise.
I’ve seen too many memes about people gaining weight during this shut-in. You have more time, why not add a 30 minute exercise routine or go outside for a walk? The one bright side to a lot of my gigs being cancelled is that I’ve been able to work out more consistently. There are soooooo many resources online for this. Don’t waste all of your time.
#4 Find a way to personally grow.
Lastly, use this time as an opportunity for growth. Start learning a new language. Take up a hobby. Learn a new skill. Create a method to grow spiritually. Whatever it is you want to be better at, take some of this time to concentrate on it. To paraphrase a song, “If you want to change the world, start with the man in the mirror.”
“Physician, heal thyself” (Lk. 4:23-KJV)
A few of you might ask me if I’m doing these things. All I can tell you is that I’m trying. I’m learning Spanish, working out consistently, going to the hospital and helping out there. Could I do better? Short answer: Yes. One of the reasons I’m writing this post is to remind myself of these principles. So I ask you, what are you doing with your time?