Around the world over the last few months, many of us have been in some form of lockdown. OMF worker Andy Smith, serving in the Philippines, reflects on an A to Z of lockdown life, considering things we can do, watch or foster in this time.
How many of them have you considered or done?
What could you carry on as you come out of lockdown?
Watch what you are eating. Eat a healthy variety of foods. Do not fall into bad habits.
Make good use of any extra time during lockdown by read more than usual. Why not tackle a thick classic you have never completed? If it’s better for you, listen to books in an audio format.
Clean parts of your house that rarely see a broom. Keep your eyes open for items that had disappeared long ago.
Get up and watch a sunrise. If possible, take a video of it and share it with others.
Thank every person who takes the effort to offer you help. Make this a season of gratefulness rather than grumbling.
Make the effort reach out to friends, especially those who tend towards extroversion. Talk to them and make sure you listen to them well.
Create a trivia game to play with your siblings or friends. You could base it on events and personalities from your childhood.
Whatever your hobby is, spend time on it. For instance, do you have a jigsaw puzzle that has never been put together?
Learn to play a musical instrument you have always wanted to get the hang of. Take advantage of free online lessons.
Find joy in small things. For example, being in lockdown may mean your laundry piles up more slowly!
Reach out to relatives you rarely communicate with. Get up-to-date with each other.
Read some of the lament Psalms (for example, Psalms 60, 74, 126, 137). Gain a better understanding of how Old Testament saints responded to tragedies and crises.
Exchange favorite childhood memories with your parents, siblings, and friends. Remember to pull out old photographs, too.
Watch enough news to stay in touch, but don’t overload on it. You may find it helpful to set a daily limit on the amount of news you consume.
Follow your government’s directives. Do all you can to help them do their job as easily and well as possible.
Pray more than you usually do. Experiment with new ways of praying. Pray more often with others.
Enjoy the quieter-than-usual environment around you. If allowed, go for a walk. Listen to birds and other creatures you usually can’t hear.
Discover or create some new recipes. Ask others what they are cooking with their limited ingredient options.
Being confined in your residence might limit your movements. Stand up several times a day and stretch.
Reflect more than usual on big matters and record the fruit of it. Type up those ideas you have long wanted to put on a hard drive.
Read stories in the Bible in which God enabled an underdog to defeat a mighty enemy, whether through a literal fight or other means.
Assess the values which compel you to do what you do. Consider if some of them should be replaced.
Write an essay or poem to express what you are experiencing. Share it with someone who knows you well.
Skip a meal. During the time when you would have eaten, pray for people who are on the frontline in the fight against this virus.
Create a physical reminder in your residence that you are not facing this challenge alone but that Jesus shares the yoke with you.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
Be aware that lockdown may cause you to drift spiritually. So stay connected with fellow believers and find new ways to serve others. Paul reminds us:
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:11-12)
International Coordinator for Evangelization
Andy Smith has served as the International Coordinator for Evangelization for the past few years. Prior to this role, he spent 16 years planting churches, providing field leadership and training other church planters in the Philippines. He began facilitating training events throughout East Asia before coming on as the International Coordinator for Evangelization.
Words: Andy Smith
Graphics: Hannah Li