Day 46 – Life on the wings of an eagle
Prayer for the week
Start you day with this prayer
Lord, our Creator, we still find ourselves in liminality. We are realising, more and more, that we can never return to our lives as it were before Covid-19; and at the same time we don’t know what a life without Covid-19 even looks like. It feels as if the pause button has been pressed, while life must carry on in some way or another, and we try to keep some semblance of normality and routine.
Some of us had big dreams and plans for this year and for the immediate future, Lord, and it’s a heavy burden to know that these must be postponed or altered indefinitely. Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, family gatherings, time with friends, visiting grandparents just aren’t possible at this time. We miss those we love, those we so sorely want to embrace, and whom we want to hold and reassure that we care about them and have not forgotten them.
We are worried about those that are ill and in hospital. And it hurts even more to lose someone in this time, especially as we cannot be surrounded by a caring community. Our hearts are filled with emotion, Lord. The uncertainty makes us feel rebellious, tired, sad, angry and hopeless.
May You, the great Comforter, remind us that You are close to us and that we are your children, that we breathe life through your Holy Spirit, and in doing so can inhale your comforting grace. Show us how we can still dream, still cling to the hope that a time will come when we can experience community again.
Help us, Lord, to reach out to each person who feels alone in this time. May we be representatives of You, the living God, who loves and cares for us with undying, uncomprehending love.
Read this reflection on the text for the day.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint – Jesaja 40:31.
Spiritually intelligent people always have more than enough time, a full day at a time. This is why they can live, work and rest. They aren’t like those people who always have too little time and boast about who is the busiest. They don’t get stomach cramps or stress headaches over all the things that still have to happen. They have a rhythm for life every day.
People who have God’s time in their hearts know how to keep up. After all, God is the one who sets the pace of their lives.
The things that matter most to God, matter most to these people. That is why they don’t let a single day end without having tangibly cared for at least one of God’s favourite people. They create opportunities to mean something to the unimportant people, for someone poor, shunned or ill. This does not make them tired, stressed or rushed because people who live from their passion, walk without becoming tired. They live life to the fullest because God gives them strength. They want to be servants for at least one person beside them. That’s more than enough. One day at a time, one person at a time – that is their pace. To change other people’s lives is God’s department. But they really, really want to be there when God is busy with his work.
Peter Drucker asks a good question, “What can I and only I do that, if done well, will make a real difference?” Use this question as a guide to your life, because it will help you to spend each day glorifying God. Use your time and energy for the good things that God destined you for, like Paul says in Ephesians 2:10.
Lord, thank you for blessing me with 24 hours every day. Be my pacemaker so that I can stay in rhythm with You, flying on the wings of an eagle without becoming tired. Amen.
Liturgy for life
See the ordinary things you do in and around the house as signs of God’s care.
This week: Think differently about your cell phone charger
I don’t phone my wife often. Not because I don’t want to. I don’t have to. My office and her office are 10 steps apart in our house. We meet each other in the hallway when we want to talk about something. She doesn’t expect me to call her. But every once in a while she has to go to the city for meetings, and then I phone her … if her phone’s battery has not died.
In the last few years it has happened often that she sent me a message that her phone’s battery is about to die and that I should phone her now, otherwise I won’t be able to reach her. I’ve teased her many times about this dead cell phone and then refer to the story Jesus told about the 10 servant girls and their lamps. “Your lamp is going out again …” is a saying in our house that refers to a dead cell phone.
But what was Jesus’ true intention with this parable? Here is an attempt at a modern version.
Imagine you have a teenage girl at home. She and her highschool sweetheart were torn apart by the monster called Lockdown. The boyfriend lives on the edge of the Karoo and they don’t have good cell phone reception there. He lets her know via SMS that he will be phoning her later that day. She will make sure that her phone is charged. She might even arrange for a power bank or a generator, just to make sure her phone is ready for that call. It gets late, and she falls asleep, but when the call comes through around 00:15 she is wide awake and her phone is charged. There is great joy in the house because she could speak to her loved one again.
The point of this story is that we should wait with anticipation and hope.
Currently we must also wait with hope and anticipation for what is to come. It’s the same kind of waiting that Jesus’ parable asks of us as believers. This Covid-19 time can be a very suited metaphor to help us think about the time all believers are waiting for: the end of times, the second coming of our Lord. We should be prepared for this new time, even if we don’t know when it will arrive.
What do we do to prepare? We live according to the Bible. We love one other and ourselves. We take care of other people. We repair what is broken. We practice love in our homes.
Start a new habit this week every time you charge your phone. Remind yourself of the parable of the 10 servant girls that Jesus told and ask yourself if you are living with hope and anticipation today for the time to come. Charge your phone, fill your lamp, because the wonderful day will arrive when the call comes through.
Play with your children.
Wow! 21 Days of isolation. 21 Days in which we’re only allowed to be in our homes (or gardens) and can only go out for the most essential things like food and medicine. It can be a little rough! All the things we usually do during the day, like school, sport, church … are not happening anymore. It can really confuse you and maybe even bore you a little. These daily readings will help you to spend some time with Jesus every day in a creative and fun way. You can do these readings and activities by yourself, with your siblings, or with your entire family. Ask one of the grownups to post your activity on Facebook so that others can enjoy it with you. Tag it with #solitudecalendar #churchtogether
Each one of us has a special thing that we can do well. The challenge is doing these things in such a way that it changes the world. We can’t do this on our own strength because we would become tired or lazy. But when we trust God to give us his strength, and not rely on ourselves, something special happens. We will receive new energy each day to do something special to make a difference in the world.
– Which things can you do really well?
– How can this make a difference in the world?
– In which ways can you trust God to give you strength to do these things?
Today’s Scripture tells us that God will give us strength to soar on wings like eagles so that we will not become tired. Go outside or sit by a window. Sit there for a while until you see a bird. Watch closely what the little bird does. Just as God cares for that little bird, He cares for you every day.
Look at this week’s illustration.
Talk to the people in your home or with your friends on WhatsApp about the illustration.
– What stands out to you?
– Take note of the things you see, but also of the things that aren’t present in the illustration.
– What would you like to add?
– How does this illustration connect with today’s Scripture, and how not?
Create your own interpretation of the illustration through any medium: dance, photography, videography, music, poetry, drawing, painting or short stories.
Record it and share it with us on social media with the hashtag #countdowndoodles