Time Out

Time Out

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

1 For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:

2 a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8 a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

I am a teacher of students with special needs. I have been doing this for over twenty years and have about six more years of teaching until I can officially retire from Milwaukee Public Schools. Knowing that I look at any extended time off as “retirement practice”. In today’s day and age, retirement can last almost as long as one’s career. Many of us ponder what to do with our time once we are no longer working.
After 4 days in my house where my only time outside my four walls consists of taking my son to work and back, I’m beginning to wonder if I can handle retirement. My school district will be shut down until April 13th, 2020. I found out today that Teachers and staff will still be paid, so this time off will probably be the longest non-working break I have had in two decades!
I have a new perspective on those people who are considered “shut-in” by our society. These are people who, for various reasons, are confined to their homes and conduct most of the affairs in their lives isolated from others. I understand the toll isolation has on one’s state of mind. In order to persevere, I know my mind is my greatest weapon. I must keep it focused on the big picture, the other side of this crisis.
I have often heard that in the Chinese language, the character for CRISIS is a combination of the characters DANGER and OPPORTUNITY. I am looking forward to the opportunities that this situation has presented. I now have more time to write: blogs, posts, maybe even a book. I now have more time with my family, instead of just casually asking how the day was and move on to the next task.
Another way of looking at this would be to consider this a “Time-Out”. Not the kind you assign your three-year-old when they decorate your kitchen wallpaper with a permanent marker, but more like in a sporting event when the team is given a chance to take a breath and try to come up with a better game plan. I believe God schedules “time-outs” in our lives in order to give us instructions that will help us when the clock starts up again.
Please comment on how your life has been interrupted by this crisis and what you plan to do with your “Time Out”

5 thoughts on “Time Out

  1. I have been retired for almost 20 years so I view this is just another day of retirement. I get to do a few chores, a few errands (if I want to chance going out in the public) and then to do what ever I desire for the rest of the day. There is always fabric to make a new quilt, yarn to knit more socks, more books to read. And since this is Lent, I am reading more bible lessons and praying more. This country and some of my family and friends need prayers now because of health crisis unrelated to COVID19. So, my life has remained virtually unchanged due to this enforced isolation.

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    1. I hope I can find hobbies that I can give up easily when things get back to normal

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  2. I was labeled a “shut in” at our former church. I’ve noticed that I am still in this pattern. With all the suggestions of things to do during the mandatory quarantine, I have realized just how much I have wasted my life. So much of our lives are defined by our jobs, but honestly a job is not only important for our emotional & spiritual needs, but vitally important for our physical needs too. We aren’t defined by our jobs, but often what God calls us to is through our work & when work isn’t there, then what?
    During this time…all the suggestions of helping a neighbor, talking to an isolated person, help an elderly person…these things we all should be doing ALL of the time, not just during times such as these. Friendships aren’t kept by “liking” or keeping up with a post here or there on Facebook, & so sadly we all are guilty of this.
    My hope is to find something that I can’t easily let go of, something that challenges me, forces rebirth & transformation. And plants seeds in others.

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  3. The scripture is actually from the book of Ecclesiastes, brother.

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    1. Whoops, I new that
      Thanks for the catch

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