Covid-19 hasn’t affected my life very much. I’m an essential services worker so I have just carried on working as usual. There are new cleaning and social distancing rules in my workplace, and traffic on my way to and from work is better, but that’s all that changed for me when it comes to my work life.
I experienced some changes outside work with panic buying causing limits to what I could buy and new rules around cleaning and social distancing being imposed by shops but the main change, for me, was that I could not socialise with my son and daughter the way we usually did.
My daughter and I were in the habit of going out for dinner together at least once a week which had to stop and I was not able to see my son at all as he doesn’t live with me and he did not want to put me at risk.
There was no restriction on my social life apart from that because I don’t have a social life apart from dinner with my kids now and then.
It’s my choice. I just don’t have the energy to socialise,
My life has not been the same since I lost my thyroid gland to cancer. The doctors say my medication is keeping my hormonal levels at the right balance but I’ve had no energy to do anything much since it all happened.
I conserve my energy for the things I have to do like working, shopping, and household chores so nothing really changed for me when we were all placed in lock down.
What did change was my relationship with the Lord.
Some time ago I used to watch a show called 19 kids and counting which was about the Duggar family. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children.
I enjoyed seeing the show because the family made no apologies about promoting Christianity which is rare in this day and age.
Another big family, the Bates, appeared in several episodes of the Duggar show and I was very taken with them too. Gil and Kelly Bates also have 19 children but there was something about them that I liked even better than the Duggars.
After the Duggar show was cancelled because of a scandal involving their eldest son the Bates were contracted to do a TV show themselves. Their show was called Bringing up Bates.
I remember a scene in one of the Duggar shows where Gil Bates, the Bates father, said he knew the dates of every one of his children’s births and the Duggar father, Jim Bob, laughed and admitted he couldn’t say the same. In another episode, or perhaps the same episode, I watched Gil deal gently, lovingly, and efficiently with a child who had something in his eye while Jim Bob Duggar looked on, helpless, and expecting someone else to tend the child. Instinctively I knew Gil was the kind of father I always wished I’d had as a child.
Recently my daughter told me some of the Duggar and Bates children had Instagram accounts. I have an Instagram account that I opened ages ago. I’ve never posted anything on it or used it but, when I heard that, I started following as many of the children from the two families as I could find.
One day one of the Bates daughters, Erin, posted a video about how she does her daily devotionals. She said she opens her devotional time with a prayer then reads three chapters of the bible daily (and five chapters on Sundays) followed by either a psalm or a proverb. Then she reads a page from each of her two devotional books, Streams In The Desert, and New Morning Mercies. She said if she has time afterwards, and is not too tired at the end of the day which is when she does her daily devotions, she will also read a Christian book.
Afterwards she picks a verse that stood out and writes that verse in a journal followed by a little paragraph about how that verse spoke to her or how she can make a change in her life according to the verse.
The time must have been right in my life because it inspired me to buy the two devotional books she suggested and try having a daily devotional time with the Lord myself.
I’ve tried reading the bible several times before but, without clear instructions on how to go about it, I just tried to read it like one reads an ordinary book and I always felt too overwhelmed to continue after a while.
At one point I tried using it as a kind of guide by opening it at random and reading what appeared and taking it as a word from God to me but sometimes it seemed relevant and other times it seemed to be utterly meaningless so that also fell by the wayside.
This time I had a blueprint for how to read the Bible and it looked more manageable.
That was a couple of months ago and I’ve been setting aside time daily to read a few chapters of the bible and the daily page of each of the two devotionals since then. I’ve also read a few books that a pastor said he felt were essential reading for a Christian and I’ve ordered a few more that look like they might be helpful.
I feel like the new routine is helping me and I’ve started to find I am actually enjoying it despite the chapters I have been reading being all about who begot whom and how much land was given to what tribe when God gave the tribes of Israel the land he promised them.
Some of the things I’ve been reading have really stood out to me.
For example – the way I read Genesis 1:29-30 – it seems to say mankind was originally all vegetarian and so were all the animals until after Noah survived the flood. It’s not until Genesis 9:3 that God gives us permission to eat animals and even then he says we must not eat their “life” and he says their life is contained in their blood.
Later on, in Leviticus 11, it tells us what animals we are allowed to eat. We can eat anything that has cloven hooves provided it also chews the cud so we can eat beef but not pigs because pigs don’t chew the cud.
It also tells us we are not to eat any creature that has paws so no dogs, cats, bears, lions etc.
I wonder if it is Christianity that caused the western world to view eating dogs or cats as disgusting? If so, I wonder why it didn’t extend to bears? I think it is, or was, common for mountain men to eat bears in bear country but they have paws so how come the revulsion we feel towards eating a dog doesn’t extend to eating bears?
Probably because you can’t really make a pet of a bear.
Of all the creatures that live in the water Leviticus 11 tells us we are only allowed to eat things that have both fins and scales so no oysters, shrimp, crab, lobster etc.
The chapter details other things we can and cannot eat. We can eat grasshoppers but not camels, owls, vultures, and the one I find most significant – bats!
If we were obeying God’s dietary guidelines today it is probable there would never have been any outbreak of Covid 19!