by James Collins
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11
During the COVID-19 quarantine, I have been going to work each day. However, my wife and kids have pretty much been stuck at home. It seems like they are developing “cabin fever.” Over the weekend, they seemed to be a little cranky especially when I started rationing the remaining toilet paper. They became even more upset when I started cutting their hair. By the way, my wife looks great with a bowl haircut.
In order to alleviate their boredom, I put the kids to work. For the past few weeks, they have been peeling old wallpaper and painting. That seemed to make them even angrier. Since they didn’t like painting, I made them clean out the garage. Guess what? They hated that too.
Because we couldn’t go anywhere, I did my best to come up with a stay-at-home activity the whole family would love. I tried boardgames. I quickly discovered that kids who have spell-check on all their electronic devices are easy to beat at Scrabble. After my forty-second consecutive Scrabble victory, they got frustrated and quit.
Since all the churches are closed, every preacher in America is now a televangelist. So, I thought it would be fun to check out some of the other pastors on YouTube, and I made my wife and kids watch with me. The experience was, well, interesting… If your pastor wears skinny jeans when he shouldn’t, you might want to get a new pastor. If your pastor says his favorite hymn is Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” you might want to get a new pastor. If your pastor is over 30 years old and frosts the tips of hair, you might want to get a new pastor. If your pastor gets more theology from Joel Osteen books than the Bible, you might want to get a new pastor.
Anyway, after watching three or four bad internet preachers, my wife and kids were really agitated. My ten-year-old son, John said, “I’m so bored. I just want to go someplace. I just wish this mess was over and the world would reopen.” I looked at John and said, “I do too, son.”
My family, like most people today, just wants to go somewhere. Right now, it feels like the world has stopped, but that’s not really the case. Every second the earth is moving 18.5 miles in its journey around the sun. Every tick of the clock, you are 18.5 miles away from where you were before the last tick. If you count to 10, you are about 200 miles away from the place you were when you started counting. The earth is always going places. Since you are on the earth, you are always going places too.
Not only is that true physically, but it’s also true spiritually. Every soul is moving either toward God or away from God. You are going someplace. You are meant to go to heaven. That is why God says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you… thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). God wants to bring you to a good place. Since you’re going places anyway, make sure you’re always moving toward God and not away from Him.
The point is: Even under lock-down, you are going places. It is impossible to stay put. But you have a choice on your direction. You can either move toward, or away from God.
Where do you think you’re going?
James Collins is a pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net.