In middle school and high school and even college, I was often a club or class officer. I was the National Honor Society president in 8th grade, and again in 12th grade. I was the sophomore class vice-president, and class president the following year. I was in several clubs and activities throughout my school years and I was rarely "just a member". In high school, most of my lunch time was spent at some meeting with other club members. In college, I was busy most school nights at some meeting or club activity, if I was not working as a tutor. When I first became a high school teacher, I often stayed late in my classroom or I was at a "just for new teachers" class somewhere. I started volunteering in Children's Ministry after the first semester of teaching, and continued doing that for several years. I started serving in Youth Ministry in the summer of 2002 and my Tuesday nights were busy for almost 11 years.
Why am I giving you a resume of my extra curricular activities? Am I applying for a scholarship or am I going to run for public office? No. I am just letting you know that I am used to being busy. I still like organizing activities and hanging out with other people. I almost always have some anxiety before an event. Will people show up? Will they appreciate the effort the team put forth? Will they have a good time? Will it run smoothly so I can enjoy myself too?
All of that worry usually gets me a few sleepless nights, laryngitis, and sometimes even a stomach ulcer. That is, nothing good comes out of worrying. I show I care about my efforts by doing a good job, but not by worrying. I have planned some duds before, but I learned and moved on. I usually take note of what did and did not work, and continue with the next thing. Currently, there seems to be nothing next. Most of the events that have been planned for the spring and summer have been postponed or canceled, and we really do not know what the fall will look like. I want to make some fun plans with family and friends, but right now I can only make a meal plan.
I can dwell on the disappointments, or I can relish in this time. I have a friend in another state who is quarantined by herself. She has decided to use her time to learn a new language. Although it seemed difficult at first, she is excited to be able to read more in that language. She is looking forward to the time when she will be able to go back to her workplace with her co-workers, and to use her new language skills outside of her home. She was even able to help someone out by posting the needs of an elderly friend, and another friend generously did something about it! I applaud a person who has taken all of this bad and used it for good. She has inspired me to do some things at home that I have been putting off for a very long time.
When was the last time you read Ecclesiastes? It is 12 chapters of the Old Testament squeezed in between the Book of Proverbs and the Song of Solomon. The 1960s music group, The Byrds, sang chapter 3 for us in their song, "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)". This is a time for many things. I know there will again be a time to do the things we have been deprived of (if we are following all of the directives put on our local areas), but there is also time for us to do things we have been missing out on because of the other busyness of our regular schedules.
This post may be several weeks late, but I need a reminder that all is not lost in boredom, misery, and fear. We may not understand why any of this is happening right now, but God knows. Let's thank King Solomon for asking for wisdom and discernment from God, rather than for a long life or riches. (You can read about that in 1 Kings 3) Through his godly wisdom, the Preacher wrote these words:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...
You can read the rest on your own, or just sing the song!