Turn your isolation into a gift: A Quiet Morning experience
Jenni Ho-Huan // April 30, 2020, 12:09 am
This season might feel like the wilderness, but if you dare get up and go forth to meet God, you will find that His Word is true, powerful and even accurate, writes Rev Jenni. Photo by Jacob Bentzinger on Unsplash
Isolation is hard.
While some joke about how this time of distancing and staying home suits introverts, the truth is we all need meaningful connection.
And possibly the most meaningful connection to have is with oneself and with God.
Too many people are strangers to themselves – what makes them tick, why some things perturb them so much, what can help them move forward, how to stop the endless loops. Too many who claim faith struggle to trust God the Unseen One.
I believe in a life-giving God, who painfully allows this to awaken us to what life is truly about.
This is why (and thanks to friends who egged me on) I am making Quiet Morning more widely available.
I realise that the simple decision to set aside time, to lean towards “being” rather than “doing”, to slow down and open our entire selves before God and to relish a morsel of truth, is so transformative.
I hope many will join this and experience something we so desperately need in this world: Peace within ourselves and peace with God – which enables us to become peacemakers. This pandemic has shown us how far we are from peace: Creation damage, discrimination, weak healthcare systems, mangled political realities that hurt the poor and weak.
In God’s mercy, He has sent Light so we also do see good being done by many during this Pandemic. But overall and understandably, this has also aroused a sense of pan(dem)ic.
Space to reconnect
I would admit that it has not been easy. Different ones of us find different parts of it hard. From work to family life, to developing fastidious hygiene habits and ensuring that there are groceries … it is easy to go overboard with the news, go under the sense of helplessness, go round and round with all that needs to be done!
We feel collectively sent out into the wilderness, stripped down to a sense of survival.
Even as one who has worked from home for so long, I find this prolonged season of unfolding bad news wearisome.
This made me believe that, all the more, we have to seek out space to calm our fears, understand what is going on and sow into a way of life that can bear much fruit both now and in the future.
I believe in a Life-giving God, who painfully allows this to awaken us to what life is truly about, and is drawing us towards a way of life that will be more peaceful, truthful and bountiful.
Peeling the layers
As I started writing this, I saw a picture of a seed. Unless we stop to think of it, it’s easy to forget that a seed is so full of promise and potential. In each seed is the possibility of an orchard.
We have to learn to welcome the wilderness as God brings it. For He is there waiting.
But the seed must endure isolation, loneliness, and apparent death, to all it has known. It needs to be broken open, a risk, to allow its generative ability to play out as it lets go, endures a change and stretches towards the sun.
Yes, this feels like a season of great loss, and I do not diminish the real loss of jobs and security that many do face. But it can be a good and necessary loss, one that if we are willing to endure may lead us to a way to both empathise and act on behalf of those who are at the brink of losing everything.
It is also a season of wilderness. All our highways are empty and streets and squares are quiet … and we feel collectively sent out into the wilderness where things are stripped down to a sense of survival.
The wilderness in Scripture is a very special, appointed place for divine exchange.
But again, this imagery and experience holds another dimension. The wilderness in Scripture is a very special, appointed place for divine exchange. It is where Abraham encounters God the Promise-maker, where Moses gets his commission and experiences God as the Deliverer, where countless battles are fought and won … and where Jesus drew the line of His ultimate loyalty to God his Father.
Down through the ages, the wilderness is sought by those who are spiritually serious. We have to learn to welcome it as God brings it. For He is there waiting, for us to show up.
If you dare get up and go forth to meet God, you will find that His Word is true, powerful and even accurate, and you will also meet and know yourself much better.
And my dear friend, we need you in our world.
This reflection was first posted on Rev Jenni’s blog, and has been republished with permission.
Quiet Morning is a structured time of reflection and sharing facilitated by Jenni every fortnightly. It begins with a time of solitude with a guided reflection before participants gather to share their thoughts, process their emotions and pray together.
The session is free and, for this Circuit Breaker season, meetings will be held online fortnightly*. More details can be found here.
Topic: Quiet Morning
Time: Friday, May 1, 9.30am
(*Available every first and third Friday of the month)
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