Today, I’m excited to introduce another devotions writer from LSA. I’ve been praying for other volunteers for this ministry, so that I can take a break now and then. Also, I think we all benefit from the perspective of more than one person. Here’s some info about Brittany, and then her first devotion for us.
Brittany McCann (Hayward)
Brittany McCann is a long-time resident of Essex County, where she resides with her husband, daughter and step-son. Brittany has lived abroad in both Australia and Hawaii and has spent many years travelling. She has a degree in Communications and Visual Arts, as well as a theological Masters in Global Studies which has taken her studies to Israel and Rwanda. She has attended Lakeshore St. Andrews church for over 15 years, consistently involved in church ministries. Currently a stay-at-home mom, Brittany finds herself outside with her husband and kids, applying and challenging her faith, and asking how to live life to the fullest.
Lately, my 7-year old step-son inquires how many days it is leading up to his birthday, sharing with us how he will spend the day. Although, the other day, he wanted to know how many days he’s been alive. Through an online calculator, we figured out that as of yesterday afternoon he is 2 709 days, 3 902 976 minutes and 234 124 633 seconds old. As, I watched the seconds click by on the online counter I thought about how all these many seconds have surpassed on this stopwatch, but I can’t tell him what number they will stop at.
Unlike years passed, 2020 has felt like a stop watch that has paused, or maybe even broke down. Life as we know it seems to have halted. Days become a blur and mimic each other, the four walls that surround us seem to be closing in.
Thinking on all these things, makes me reflect that our time on earth is limited and worth something. That we can conclude much about humanity, yet no scientist, or scholar can predict when our time will be up. So, with this extra time, or paused time, ‘should’ I take up my time reading, baking bread, shopping online, purging clothes? I’m not sure how you’ve preached to yourself that it’s going to be okay, but I’m reminded we all have the same amount of time in a day. Time can be used, wasted, or treasured but never gotten back. What seemed to fill my day previous to the pandemic wasn’t deemed too essential when it came down to it, yet it revealed all that I was left with- which was time.
“The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now. “
Rick Warren *
A passage for your interpretation is Ecclesiastes 3: 9-12 MSG, which reads:
“But in the end, does it really make a difference what anyone does? I’ve had a good look at what God has given us to do—busywork, mostly. True, God made everything beautiful in itself and in its time—but he’s left us in the dark, so we can never know what God is up to, whether he’s coming or going.”
Reading that, almost frees up your productive mind – simplifies things. What we can conclude is to enjoy the minutes, the seconds. Enjoy the faces you live with, the things you laugh at, the food you cook with. Our lives have been forced to be stripped back. It pushes us to find gratitude.
We’ve all felt the pain of not seeing loved ones, distancing from embraces, and loosing out on simple social freedoms. What I can encourage is; do what you can, yet, be okay with not doing. Love the space you live in, and think on the moments that have gone before you. And even though there’re days that we can’t seem to, we know there’s a God who can.
“Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
I take heart and gain strength.”
Habakkuk 3:17 MSG
I remember an art professor of mine who had tattooed on her forearm, pause. It always caught my eye. I never knew the meaning behind it. Perhaps a personal mantra, or reflective reminder. I want to think of quarantine as to be life on pause, oppose to a complete stop. Maybe this can help our days ahead to look differently, to value what may seem empty, but is yet a very full life lived, and cherish whatever seconds lie ahead.
“I hope today is one of those days you find joy right here in the waiting. I hope uncertainty in this season does not hinder you from creating. You are free to paint new things without knowing what tomorrow will be. You are free to practise the art of trusting right here in the wild of waiting. So much unknown and yet, there is this effortless rhythm called grace, inviting you to go deeper into living right HERE, before the future things fall in place.“ -Morgan Harper Nichols * further reading:
Romans 1:19 MSG
“Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.”
Proverbs 13:7 MSG
A pretentious, showy life is an empty life; a plain and simple life is a full life.