... Redeem the Time ...
and read books, and listened,
and rested and exercised,
and made art and played games,
and learned new ways of being
... and were still ...
and listened more deeply.
some met their shadows.
And people began to think differently
and the people began to heal.
And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous ways,
Kathleen O’Meara ~
“Life IS fragile” … throughout human history this has been true: one never knows what event or situation might dramatically change an individual life … or a nation … or a planet.
Given its global impact & unprecedented changing of lives … COVID-19 might be considered WWIII
But war with an “invisible enemy” … makes clear our INABILITY to control what is uncontrollable.
Unexpectedly & universally … swift changes are thrust upon us … PRIORITIES are being reordered.
“Illusion of control is arrogance … so goes human pride.
Turning our hearts to GOD … this could “turn the tide”
In truth, times of uncertainty which pose great challenges … may also be brilliantly disguised opportunities to grow personally & spiritually.
This will depend on how we respond.
It will also depend of what compass we use to navigate through the storm.
In any “storm” … it is human to feel over-whelmed even afraid. Words of warning are like whirling winds … washing over us like a waterfall … producing fear and angst.
Yet … there are rays of optimism:
“Corona can make us stronger” ~ Ali Anani
“Isn’t it pretty to think so?” ~ Hemingway
This quote from the The Sun Also Rises finds its illumination at the very end.
That chilling, cuts-you-like-a-shiv line: "Isn't it pretty to think so?"
This “Earnest” line sums up the very spirit of a Lost Generation.
Might history be repeating itself?
Might COVID-19 be revealing “the spirit of a lost generation”
“Corona can make us stronger” … but will it?
Professor Ali Anani points out “The corona crisis is creating emotional, physical and spiritual voids in our lives.”
As I read his words: The thought that occurred to me is that these “voids” were already in place … they existed prior to COVID-19. If anything, the “voids” are being MAGNIFIED at this time.
With honest self-assessment, we can all identify “voids” … in our lives. In our communities … in all nations. Voids: unfulfilled … fruitless, weak, empty places.
Whether we agree or not … whether we’re prepared or not: priorities are being reordered … and “voids” will become apparent.
Humans have a tendency to live in the physical … live in externals … thus we have a hard time seeing voids … especially in the spiritual realm.
There is a Divine microscope that can help detect the condition … if you’re willing to go under it ;~)
How can we be made stronger … less “fragile”? This is not wand-waving … there are no apps or easy buttons.
To be made “stronger” … requires strength of spirit. It is a priceless quality that is uniquely, exclusively and individually produced: the ability to acquire this “strength” requires recognition & receptivity, desire, attentiveness & cooperation ... nurture, and spiritual push-ups.
This "strength" is
not something that you can order online … from Amazon.
Spiritual strength is imparted Spirit to spirit … God’s Holy Spirit into your spirit.
Truth: "God can only do for you ... what you allow (even invite) Him to do in you" ~ fem-v
Just as we have to do physical exercise to gain physical strength ... we have to "sow to the spirit" to gain spiritual strength.
“Sowing & reaping” is a Divine principle. It's a straight cause-and-effect principle.
The principle is equally true whether you believe it or reject it.
If we sow to the flesh: that is, do the things that appeal to our fleshly natures … seek to satisfy the desires of the flesh, we will reap accordingly. “What is seen is temporary” … these things will end or fade.
On the other hand, if we sow to the Spirit: that is, do things that build up our spiritual lives … we will reap something that does not end … the implications are eternal.
In the physical:
A person indulges in overeating … does not eat healthy foods … does not exercise … may smoke, drink in excess or use harmful drugs … ignores well-being and then suffers health consequences. Yet this person fails to see the part they played in their own health decline.
In the spiritual:
Rather than “give us this day our daily bread” … we “starve at the Buffet Table of Life” meaning never open or read God’s Word … our thoughts are not edified with good nourishment … we neglect or completely ignore our spiritual well-being and then seem to be in wonder that negative consequences follow: fear, anxiety, lack of peace. These are inward … of the spirit so less visible.
The principle of “sowing to the spirit” … is of the heart & spirit … it is heart-to-heart and Spirit to spirit.
People might be able to hide their heart-intentions from other people … even from themselves. But not from God. He alone knows the intentions of human hearts … if they are genuine or not genuine … God knows.
“God is not mocked” … “a man reaps what he sows”
… Lessons from nature …
Great physical force is stored in the depths of the earth.
Over 3 billion years ago … deep within the Earth’s crust under conditions of intense heat and pressure … carbon atoms were caused to crystallize. The result of this force produced diamonds …
In the same way, spiritual force is stored in the depths of our being … and spiritual strength can be brought about by “intense pressure.” The very struggle, pain … or crisis we are suffering & cannot understand has the ability to produce within us something of strength & beauty … IF we can grasp it and cooperate with the process.
“What matters most is how you walk through the fire.” ~ Charles Bukowski
“Who among you fears the Lord? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go … walk in the light of your (self-made) fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from My hand: You will lie down in torment.” ~ Isaiah 50:10-11 (NIV)
This is a solemn warning to those who might find themselves in a hard place … in a place of darkness … trying to find the way out with self-made light …
It is foolish to reject God’s Light.
When we are under a dark cloud … when uncertainty produces fear & worry: the temptation is to make our own way … to exert control … to “walk in the light of self-made fire” … Rather than seeking God and relying on Him to help us, we try to help ourselves. We readily seek the advice of family & friends … yet neglect the Highest Counsel. As a result, we may take a path that would not be of God at all.
When we place our confidence in human strengths: intelligence, abilities, appearances, accomplishments and resources … instead of in God, we risk being left to our own devices … the end result may be “torment" or sorrow …
Relying on human strength & being self-sufficient can place us in opposition to God … this is not a place of peace or provision … or strength. It is a place of weakness.
… Please do not confuse being personally responsible with “self-sufficiency” …“Self-sufficiency” in a spiritual sense is relying on self instead of relying on God.
Times of trouble & uncertainly are meant to teach lessons. Lessons we desperately need.
Even if we can’t see the “voids” … or choose not to, the voids are there. Unfulfilled … fruitless, weak, empty places.
“Be careful then how you live, not as unwise but as wise … redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” ~ Ephesians 5
“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without wisdom, redeeming the time” (KJV). Colossians 4
“Redeeming the time” is related to wisdom: how we “walk,” that is, in how we live.
There are two ways to journey through life: with God … or without God.
We can walk … live in the “light of our own fire”
We can walk … live … in His Light
In stillness ... listen expectantly for His quite voice ... the prompting of His Spirit.
“For with you Lord is the fountain of life; in your Light we see light.” ~ Psalm 36
Giving honor where honor is due: “Corona can make us stronger”
Ongoing thanks my dear Professor … for your wisdom, and most especially your heart to inspire and engage
More Scriptures about “redeeming time”
Poem: "The People Stayed Home"
April 14th 2020
“In His Light” … I write ;~)
All rights reserved: Fay Marmalich-Vietmeier
If my words make you think … Great ;~)
As “iron-sharpens-iron” … I enjoy bantering with other BEES … your feedback is as “honey”
A glimpse of the “Bee” called “me” ;~)
My caring nature makes me an advocate. My curious nature makes me a “queen of questions” … but gifted with the ability to listen ;~) I am a woman of deep faith, a blessed mother, a voracious reader, a blossoming writer, a grateful person, and a lover of beauty … I treasure family, true friendships and my loyal clients ... enjoy traveling, learning, good movies, good wine and golf. I’m a “heart-to-heart” communicator.