So far, the hardest thing about being socially distanced, or in lockdown, or self-isolation, or whatever-you-want-to-call-this-somewhat-annoying-mode-we-are-in-right-now, is the absence of my regular routine. Now that I’m comfortably entrenched in my middle-aged years, I feel somewhat entitled to have my routine.
Fortunately not all routines are completely disrupted. The sun still rises and sets. Spring flowers are popping up through the ground. Trees are budding. The water still runs when I turn on the tap. My property taxes are still being withdrawn from our bank account. The world is still spinning.
Somehow, we can find comfort in that. The early church’s faith was ridiculed exactly because of the regularity of routine. Peter quoted some cynics who argued, “. . . all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation." (2 Pet. 3:4 NET). This regularity, they said, was evidence of God’s absence.
Peter turns that argument around, reminding his readers that the routine and regularity of God’s created order are evidence of His patience and grace and do not suggest He is absent. “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9 NIV).
Although my routine has been disrupted, I still see God’s caring hand. And I’m reminded how fragile the entire system is. One small, microbiological bug has brought the world to a standstill. Economic structures are at risk. Oil is cheaper and more abundant than toilet paper (remember the 70’s - “we are running out of oil!”). We have come to realize the fragility of our food supply system.
Words matter. The world is still spinning. God is still on the throne. He is still engaged. He is faithful. He alone is God. There is no other.
There are times during the day when I do get a bit of cabin fever. I know this won’t last forever because God’s routine isn’t interrupted. I know His grace is active. God is still in the routine of loving us, caring for us, and accomplishing His purposes.
Worship God and wash your hands!