Isolation and distancing is the order of the hour. The tension remains as many of us wonder if we’ve acted fast enough to prevent the tsunami of cases seen in other countries. Yet in the midst of the rapid announcements and measures there is an isolated pocket of our lives, home.
Order and Chaos
It’s a place of control in a chaotic situation. I’m not new to working from home but never before has structure been more important for me. Organising and ordering are how I’ve been building a bulwark against the turbulence beyond my walls.
It’s an ongoing process but my abode has never been so tidy. The clutter is being sorted and either belongs somewhere or is being disposed of. belongings are being ordered and surfaces cleaned. Perhaps it’s procrastination, but there is also a catharsis to the act of categorising and sweeping my space into line.
Discipline is the foundation for my days and the schedule, my tool to build my palisade. I work, I workout, more work, food, then work until it’s time to cook, relax and sleep. I enjoy the focus, but it also keeps me distracted from looking over the parapet. I find it easy to get drawn into endless reading and speculation over this novel virus, COVID-19. But I don’t help anyone by engaging in fruitless speculation and so I protect my concentration with a scaffolding of habit.
Have I built an extra barricade, somewhere I did not intend? Wisdom says that our isolation is our best defence for us and our neighbours. Our own care is vitally important in this time. But once again I’ve been leaning on my own capacities. This isn’t the world I started the year in but how can I hope to continue as a Christian in this time without a habit of prayer and reading the Bible!
I threw myself into the challenge of adapting my life to the wild reality that has overcome us. With strength and discipline I tried to tame the challenging times ahead. But I know so little of what is on the horizon of tomorrow. It is foolish to think that I will be able to hold myself up alone. Godly wisdom, in this day, is to build on the grace of him who has a home prepared for us, free from tears and sickness. Only then can I hope to truly be anchored.
Exercising social distancing is a critical act to show love to those around me. But I need to remind myself that the way to maintain that is to construct my days on a foundation of the Gospel, not on my own strength. That way when we emerge, having weathered this storm, I can be spiritually well and ready to help my community with love and action.
Sam Gillespie is a composer, programmer and PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales.Sam Gillespie's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/sam-gillespie.html