Coronavirus Updates

What’s the first thing you want to do when the circuit breaker ends?

by Gabriel Ong // May 28, 2020, 6:23 pm

LEAVING A LOCKDOWN WELL

That that’s the number one question that’s been going around lately, especially since the circuit breaker is coming to a close.

I’ve heard some of my friends’ answers, and their responses range from swimming to going out to the mall for a meal. All very normal, I guess.

But not all answers are equal, and not all questions too. If we want to leave the lockdown as a better people, we must be intentional.

That means we need to ask better questions like: “What are the important things to do when we get out of the circuit breaker?”

Since I’ve written about lockdowns in the Bible before and the lessons to be drawn from them, I figured the Word would once again be the wisest place to start. So let’s jump right into it, starting from the beginning. 

LET’S ROCK THE BOAT

The circuit breaker ends on June 1. That means we would have been staying home for two months. While that’s a long time, it’s still not as long as Noah’s quarantine order: he and his family were said to be on the ark for up to a year! 

We know how they entered their period of isolation, but how did they leave? 

“Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground — so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number on it.” (Genesis 8:17)

Upon leaving the ark they were called to get to work: the animals were to be released so that God’s command to populate the earth with animals could be fulfilled. Given that it took up to a week to load the ark (Genesis 7:1-4), I assume it would have taken a similar amount of time to unload the ark.

One more week of work? If I were on the ark, my first priority would be to stretch my legs and go for a walk. Get some fresh air, surely! I’m not sure my mind would be on the animals I had been cooped up with for the last year.

I’m not sure if I could deny myself that freedom and wait one more week.

But Noah and his family did what God told them to. And what did they do next after obeying Him? Why, they sought God again: “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.” (Genesis 8:20)

Where have we seen a crisis like this before?

I’m seeing a pattern here: Quarantine was up, he heard from God. He obeyed and carried out what God wanted. Then he went back to God in worship and God blessed him. Then on to the next thing.

For us reading this story, maybe that’s not just a good practice to adopt post-quarantine, but an actual biblical rhythm of life worth adopting.

Let’s rock the boat – why should we accept what the world considers normal and go back to the status quo? We have a unique moment and opportunity here.

What if, instead of satisfying our immediate wants the moment the lockdown is lifted, we took the time to hear from God about what are some specific things He wants us to do?

I wonder what He might He tell us! It may well be something unexpected, like making a physical visit to our parents or someone who lives on her own. But I know He’s got something to say to each one of us.

The hope is that if we hear from God about a task or mission before we leave our homes, we will return with hearts of worship because of something awesome He’ll show us or something mind-blowing we’ll learn about Him as we obey. 

IT’S TIME TO CHANGE

I’ve also written about the Passover in my previous article.

What I didn’t mention there was that the Passover also meant a new calendar for the Israelites. It literally changed how the Israelites viewed time because they had been following the Egyptian calendar before this.

When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they were beginning a whole new life. This was symbolically cemented by the institution of a whole new calendar, a separation from a worldly, sinful paradigm and stepping into God’s order and system.

Their calendars were now marked by this hugely significant event that God wanted them to remember: how they were once slaves in the land of Egypt before God delivered them and brought them out.

Has COVID-19 and the circuit breaker likewise changed how we view time?

Now my question is this: Has COVID-19 and the circuit breaker likewise changed how we view time?

There has long been a worldly system surrounding us, a normative way of doing things. Beyond time, the world has its order, systems and expectations of how things should be.

To follow that system is to coast and be swept downstream. Pursuing Christ is a far different matter.

Let’s recognise that the circuit breaker, having stripped much of our pleasures and comforts away from us, has forced many of us to reckon with issues we’ve never had to think twice about. After all, our generation has never been in a lockdown like this before.

Truly, this season has disrupted every system we can think of and forced us to recognise what’s really important. It has spurred us to re-evaluate the basic issues of life like what human connection really means and what we can really cling to in the face of the helplessness. 

As we step out of the circuit breaker, are we stepping back into the same, lame and tame? Or are we going to be following God out into where He is leading us?

COVID-19 and young Christians: How well have we weathered this storm?

I don’t know about you, but when COVID-19 blows over, I’m not sure I want to go back to “life as normal”.

I believe this is a season of shaking and sieving. As I watch some of my own friends fall away, I wonder: Will I be found abiding in Jesus?

I’m willing to let this season scare me in this way because I think I’m not the only one who needs a wake-up call.

So I’m asking: “What does God want me to do when I get out of the circuit breaker?” 

And God willing, I’m going to do just that.

THINK + TALK

  1. How has COVID-19 and the circuit breaker changed the way you view life?
  2. What will you do differently when you come out of this lockdown?
  3. Where is God leading you as you prepare to step out into this “new normal”?
About the author

Gabriel Ong

Gabriel isn't a hipster, but he loves his beard and coffee. In his spare time, he'd rather be on a mountain.