The night is dark, but the moon is shining bright. There is a bright side to all dark events we face in life. Don’t close your eyes. In all situations, we have the opportunity to look around and find things we can learn in order to become more kind and loving. This season of pandemic is no different.
A day or two ago, I received an email from George Verwer (founder of OM) sharing his 29 suggestions for us to do while we live in isolation and deal with this coronavirus crisis. His list prompted me to write up my own suggestions, which I hope will be a help for you in these days ahead.
35 suggestions for this season of isolation:
- Write emails, letters and notes to as many people you can think of. Thank them for the small or significant things they did for you or share what they mean in your life. Write to your parents, teachers, doctors, children, friends, neighbors and so on. A word of encouragement can make all the difference in a person’s life.
- Call 10 people each day just to say “Hello” and offer a word of encouragement. Be diligent to share words of hope and refrain from talking about negative things—there’s enough of that in the news already.
- Make a list of people that come to your mind and start praying for them. Each day set aside 1 or 2 hours and pray for each person by name.
- Pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read. Read 5 books at a time. I do this all the time. Read one for half an hour, then switch over to another book and read that. In this way, you are reading many different subjects at the same time. It feels like a good meal that has several items on the plate all at once.
- If you email me, I will send you a list of some of the most impactful books that have changed my life. Email me at [email protected].
- Read God’s word and memorize verses of hope and promise.
- Read poems about hope, love, and faith.
- Read a good book about using time wisely.
- Think about others, especially those who are in a much more dangerous environment than we are, and pray for them.
- Write an email to the Government authorities, both local and higher levels, and encourage them. Appreciate all that they do for the society. They don’t hear positive encouragement very often.
- Although you cannot go to public places like the gym for exercises, discipline yourself for at least half hour each day to do some kind of physical exercise in your home. If you aren’t sure what to do, a quick search on Google will bring up hundreds of ideas as to what you can do for exercising at home.
- Read my books. You can download them for free by going to gfa.org/resource.
- Look around and see the accumulation of material stuff that has cluttered your life. Simplify your living conditions by throwing things away that can’t be used and giving away what can be.
- Don’t consume foods that your body cannot use, especially during these days with limited inability to burn the calories.
- Listen to music that calms your mind and emotions.
- Watch good movies on life. Don’t watch scary movies.
- Guard your ears from listening to people talking about negative things.
- Read a book on silence and solitude and try practicing it. Make this a habit for your life. They say when you do something for 21 days, it will become a habit. One book I would recommend on this topic is The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen.
- If you have resources to give, look for ways to help others in dire need, especially those in communities and nations that are in greatly suffering due to this corona virus crisis.
- Learn something new! Practice a new language, develop speed reading, learn an instrument—you can get started by looking at what is offered for free online.
- Go to gfa.org and learn all the ways you can help the needy and suffering in Asia through your prayers and assistance.
- Listen to encouraging teachings. Some of the best I’ve found can be heard online at sermonindex.net.
- Eat simply and eat less. Fast one or two days a week if you can.
- Read the words of Christ about the signs of the last days. Think to yourself what it means to live in the light of eternity. Make decisions that matter beyond time and the physical world around you.
- Being isolated with your family members is a gift from God. Be kind and loving to those who are close to you. This convergence culture and online world of social media has caused so much loneliness and isolation. Re-learn how to be a real human being during this time you have together.
- Make a list of things you can live without. Use that list to create changes in your life. Think about the amount of time and money you can save and learn how to live simply—it will bring you so much freedom!
- Study about the first 400 years of the Holy Church by reading the writings of the church fathers and the desert fathers and mothers. Many of their teachings can be found online.
- Use this time to think about the reason for your living based on 2 Peter 1:4. Learn what it means and looks like to embrace the sacramental life, which is key to living as God intended for us.
- Use this time to think about all those you need to seek forgiveness from as well as those you need to forgive. Call. Write. Talk to them. Free yourself for the prison of bitterness. We all fail, we are all sinners. No one is perfect, including you. Be kind.
- This season of forced isolation is a God-given opportunity to know who we truly are by reading God’s Word over and over again and learning to see ourselves in light of it.
- Church is the epicenter of the universe. And the Church is not a crowd. Worship is the epicenter of the Church. You can gather with the handful of people already in your home and have a time of worship, where God is in your midst as the only audience.
- Make a list of prayer requests to pray for the nations. You can get started by visiting our website gfa.org/pray and using the list we have provided.
- If you have any inclination to write—either stories or poems or a memoir—begin writing a book, especially one that includes stories of hope and courage from your life’s journey.
- Pray the Lord’s Prayer as you wash your hands often.
- Every time you become anxious, say out loud, “In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I reject these fears.”
- Remember this phrase: Don’t waste this corona virus! Use it to your advantage and help others in need.
Learn more about Dr. KP Yohannan, Founder of GFA World, and Metropolitan of the Believers Eastern Church:
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