As the nation comes out of lockdown, after 3 months when our freedoms and desires have been greatly curtailed, I have been wondering if this brand new experience of opening up after such personal limitations is a spiritual thermometer.
I have been thinking about opening up while turning over in my mind, heart and soul that verse in Matthew 6 where Jesus says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.
It is during Jesus’ Sermon On The Mount and he is in a little section about treasures in general.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…”
He finishes the section by talking specifically about money:
“You cannot serve both God and money.”
This verse about where your treasure is is right bang in the middle.
I have been surmising whether I could paraphrase Jesus’ line to “what you want most after lockdown is where your heart is.”
The nation has been chomping at the bit for weeks. People have been deprived of many things and it is fascinating to see where the rush back to everything is concentrated.
The seeming desperation to shop. Writer Mike Starkey once wrote a book called Born To Shop that took Descartes’ understanding of being human “I think therefore I am” and changed it to “I shop therefore I am”. Are the queues after lockdown confirming Starkey’s fears?
Or a meal at a restaurant or a manicure or haircut or sun holiday or or a night at the pub? Maybe I should be thrilled with the pressure on churches to reopen as a sign of spiritual fervour.
It is only me surmising but it might be a helpful thermometer to ask what we missed most? What we are eager to return to in “normal” life. Is that a gauge as to where our heart is?
As I critique my own soul, I fear that for me it is the opposite of the yearning for what I want as lockdown opens up. I don’t want it to open up. As an introvert I am loving the time to myself and family.
The thermometer of my hesitancy is telling me that I need to begin to be less selfish with my time and be ready to give my time for other people. Following Jesus is all about giving up self for others.
As a natural introvert whose energy is quickly used up in social situations I have had three great months. Lockdown relief I hear it called. My yearnings and desires were not curtailed but indulged. The government were kind enough to ground my 22 and 19 year old daughters to the house. The government kindly gave me a near sabbatical where I could read and write and listen and prepare. All my time was for me.
I am now wrestling with God as I deal with my treasure being self absorption and how I can shift that to a selfless giving to neighbour and church community. The thermometer of “what you want most after lockdown is where your heart is” is challenging me greatly!