Self-Isolation in God's Word
Man (and woman) is a social animal. When God created Adam and Eve, He told them to multiply and cover the earth and have dominion over it.
Of course being in charge or having dominion over something does not mean ordering things or people about; it means leading by example.
We are meant to be social people and to have contact with one another; to build one another up and to support each other in our triumphs and in our failures. The whole essence of Christian love is expressed in Jesus’ words “Love God and love your neighbour as you love yourself." Sure, there are times when a little isolation is good for refreshing the soul. I love fishing on the canal which runs close to one of my churches. I don’t want to catch anything; I just love the peace and quiet and occasional greeting from a cyclist or dog walker but the time is my own and I have time to reflect. However, the call to be a sociable animal then takes me back home to the heart of my family with my harmony reinforced by my short period of loneliness.
The prospect of self-isolation projected to us from the News today will, no doubt, strike fear into the hearts of many, especially elderly and housebound people. I joked on Sunday when I said that cancelling all church activities would give us a wonderful opportunity for more bible study.
I wonder how many will take advantage of that idea?
But, you know, readings God’s word is not boring but takes you into a place that very few novels can take you. The Bible is full of adventure stories, murder mysteries, scandal and prophecies, foretelling and forthtelling and bringing us to understand God’s plan for humanity. It is not only well worthy of study but is essential to us if we are to live a full Christian life.
If self-isolation is the issue for those of us who are of a certain advanced age consider these three things to help you along the way.
1. There are people who are aware of your existence even if you are not aware of them. Do not be afraid to welcome help from neighbours who may just want to reach out and help you.
2. Fill your time positively. Set a daily timetable and stick to it. Directed time is better than undirected time. Set your self some goals; read that book that you promised to start, write your memories down on paper, and clean the house. Whatever fills your time. TV is OK but self-isolation does not mean you cannot walk in your garden or simply open a window and watch the world go by.
3. Keep in touch with friends, relatives etc. by that old fashioned instrument: the telephone. A two minute conversation can lift your spirits and lift the spirits of the one you are talking with. If you have no one to telephone, ring your local church, whatever the denomination. Someone will speak with you. Someone will make a contact note and someone will follow it up. That is the essence of our faith; to help one another.
If all else fails, ring me.
Take care and watch our website for more details and changes.
- Fr. Chris