As old as I am, I still remember the days when I was led to the corner to think about my actions. Today they call it a time out. In Biblical times, they called it 40 days and 40 nights. Now they might even call it child abuse. The fact is, we all need time to reflect – to ponder our actions and realize how we can improve.
We are currently in one of the longest time outs on record. Social distancing and masking are important components to this time of contemplation. Still there are times when we forget the rules and can’t help but hug someone we love or forget to cover our faces when we’re in a group setting. These restrictions are unnatural for us and even painful at times. Not only are we restricted physically, but risks are being taken on a daily basis and there’s really not a thing we can do about it.
We’re led to believe that opening schools will set off another wave of new cases of this dreaded disease, as we’re also told that if we don’t set our fears aside, our economy will collapse and we’re all going to die anyway. In addition,, our news media is filled with negativity – politicians try to convince us that they’re the only ones to believe – people are tired of being cooped up and throw caution to the wind. There are also those who are simply tired of complying with all the changes in their routine. It’s been more than forty days and we’re entitled to complain. The Israelites groveled, protested and grumbled after all.
So what are we to do during this “time out? Will we learn anything? Will we benefit from a time of contemplation? Will others gain from our fears? Probably all of those questions can be answered with a resounding yes. Time outs are designed to make us think, from which will come creative solutions, innovation in how we communicate, new ways of overcoming obstacles. We might even learn how to talk with God again.