I’ve lost count of how many articles I’ve seen over the past week entitle something like, “Top 10 movies to watch while you are on lockdown.”

Okay, I enjoy watching movies and a good TV show as much as the next person, but when we get to the other side of this…which we will…do we want our big accomplishment to be that we cleared out our Netflix queue?

When we first moved to Ireland, the lack of structure really threw me. I was used to having to prepare a message every week…lead a small group…have office hours. Once we were here, I had none of those responsibilities and felt completely untethered. Even practising Sabbath, which we had been doing for a few years was a bigger challenge than I could handle.

Going into this past week felt very similar, so Liz and I have begun putting in daily and weekly rhythms into our schedule.

  • We have practised evening devotions with M for a while, and now that we have the time have added morning prayers and scripture. (we had never done this well with the older kids). We use the Daily Prayer Office from Northumbria.
  • I’m walking (while social distancing of course), 45 minutes to an hour while listening to an audiobook each day. (I finished Orthodoxy, by Chesterton a couple of days ago and am just about finished with Competing Spectacles: Treasuring Christ in the Media Age, by Reinke. (They were both free books of the month on Christian Audio. This month’s free book is Life Together, by Bonhoeffer…you should set up a free account!)
  • We are playing a game each day (Codewords over the past few days).
  • We are cleaning, de-cluttering, and cooking.
  • And yes we are watching TV. When the older 3 were younger Psych was (and still is) a family favourite. We are now sharing that with M.
  • Did you hear about Pluto? That’s messed up. (sorry random Psych reference)
  • I’m also trying to get back into writing a bit (non-school variety).
  • We are meeting…via video…with our missional community.

I do have a tendency to overestimate what I can do. I had hoped to get M outside for exercise more…that hasn’t gone well. But that is my goal for today (don’t tell her).

We are going through a time when we have no choice but to slow down. There are not places to go and people to see (except via facetime or zoom). And most likely we will never again have an extended period of time like this. So here is an invitation…today, ask “Jesus, what would you like to do in me, my family, my community through this time.” And then start each day with that question, and then take a bit of time to listen.

Trust me, it’ll be a better start to your day than your Facebook/Twitter feed…and they’ll still be there when you are done.

So how about you? What are you setting in place as you begin this extended period of downtime?

The photo is from a recent trip to the Chester Beatty Library down by Dublin Castle.