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The Bumper Boat Life of Quarantine (and Identity in Community)

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,  where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:13-20

An anchor for the soul is something I surely do need. I'll be honest, even though I am arguably about as extroverted as a grown woman can be, I need alone time for my mental health. Living day in and day out in a very small house with all the people I love most in the world has become much like bumper boats at a cheap amusement park. My steering and mobility are difficult enough as a frictionless floating disc on the water where a direct line is not made possible by the weak motor. Then I get slammed or even bumped by another boat and I'm headed to the wall or straight for the nasty spraying water filled with who knows how much chlorine and bacteria all at once. It's stressful and fun in moments but mostly an odd experience of powerlessness in the intentional mutual assault of this "amusement."

I know its why God intended for His people to be in community. As we bump against others, the disorientation is instructive. We see our own limitations and weaknesses (and self-seeking sin nature). To keep with the bumper boat analogy, we process the seeming agendas of those around us, some who just want to ride around the perimeter, some who have found meaning in the fun of spraying the other boats, and some who love the power of slamming into someone else's boat and sending them way off course. For me, its not long into the allotted time that I can't remember what my original goal was for getting in line for this nor what I hoped it would be. I am just trying to find a spot to dry out in the sun and maybe avoid anymore whiplash from another collision.

"We have this hope for the anchor of our soul" that Jesus has got us. Our only hope in life and death is that we belong, body and soul, to Him." He takes care of all who have been given to Him, not letting one be lost or picked away. So how do I enjoy this stability and anchoring in quarantine? For starters, I stop looking at the other boats to tell me who I am or where I should be on this "ride."

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 15:16

Seek first His Kingdom (not my own) and pray "Your Kingdom come!"(again, not my own)

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

By faith, I will turn my eyes from Peter's waves unless I want to be certain of sinking. By faith, I will turn my attention from the Teachers of the Law unless I want to affirm my condemnation. My boat is certain to get bumped and sprayed and thrown off my course today, but I am invited to be greatly encouraged by taking hold of the hope set before me, the anchoring of my soul and future, that all these things are in His care and He has not left me alone to merely survive the bumper boat bonanza. Maybe I can actually enjoy the silliness of it, the playfulness it encourages because I will never be sent off His course for me in His Kingdom.

He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. Matthew 8:26


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