One of my great delights in life is to find a poem that stirs my soul.
I have stored several in my memory bank. When boredom comes calling, I don’t need an energy drink to rejuvenate my mind and body. A little poem packed with truth restores my enthusiasm for life.
Today, I want to share one of those treasures with you and apply its power to the coronavirus problems we all face. Get ready for a blessing! Here it is:
Life can never be dull again
Once we’ve thrown our windows open wide
And whispered to ourselves this wondrous thing,
We are wanted for the business of the King!
The isolation made necessary by COVID-19 has been exasperating. We are tired of being stuck at home, weary of waiting for businesses to reopen.
Some of us have the advantage of sharing the frustration with a spouse. Others of us are alone, which must make the seclusion even more difficult. We do find some relief from boredom when a family member or a friend drops by with food or medicine, always standing 10 feet away.
But whether you live in Germany, South America or Alabama, you are pleading for deliverance from this isolation curse.
Though I struggle like everyone else with being homebound, I realize it is necessary for my own safety and that of my family and friends. To ignore the CDC health guidelines would be foolish.
We can find a way to recover from the collapse of our economy, but there is no recovery from death. So for whatever time is necessary, we all need to do what our health experts recommend. Social distancing may be aggravating, but it could save your life or the life of a loved one.
I find some comfort in remembering that our isolation is nothing compared to the isolation of thousands of death-row inmates in our prisons. Most of them are isolated in a small cell with no windows for 23 hours a day.
And the sad reality is that a few of them are innocent, awaiting execution for a crime they did not commit. If you doubt that, I suggest you read the eye-opening book “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson.
Celebrate the truth
The best medicine I have found for the monotony of isolation is to celebrate the truth of my little power poem. Life’s dullness is overpowered by the “wondrous” truth that “we are wanted for the business of the King.”
There is more to life than birth, work, retirement and death. Nothing could be duller than to grow up, earn enough money to buy a pile of stuff, guard it for a while, then die and be buried in a shallow grave — and never experience the thrill of knowing and serving the king, whose name is Jesus!
The unseen world is more “real” than the world we can see and touch. That unseen world is the Kingdom of God. God sent his son Jesus into the physical world to reveal to us the invisible kingdom.
During his earthly ministry, Jesus invited us to live in the kingdom and to serve him for he is the king of the kingdom. Today, as the living Christ, he invites us to accept his invitation to work with him in “the business of the King.”
Few things thrill my soul more than the amazing thought that God “wants me” for the business of his son! And while my role is that of a pastor, that is but one of a thousand ways one may serve King Jesus. Men and women in almost every profession may engage in the king’s business.
What is this business? It is to share the good news of God’s love. John said it perfectly: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (3:16).
Millions of people still do not know that Jesus died for their sins, that their sins were forgiven when Jesus was nailed to that cruel cross, and that by surrendering to Jesus, and living in the kingdom, they may begin living the eternal life that stretches beyond the grave.
The business of the King is to make Jesus known and loved. It is to witness to the ways our lives have been changed, and are being changed, by the transforming power of the living Christ.
It is to help people see that the true meaning of life is not found in eating, drinking and playing around, but in finding ways to love people into the Kingdom of God.
It is to help others discover that meaning and joy are found in loving God and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Must we wallow in dullness and frustration because we are sheltered in our homes for a time? No! A thousand times no!
We can grow our faith forward by reading and studying God’s word. We can spend time in intercessory prayer, lifting up the sick, praying for our heroes who are on the front lines of service. We can encourage others with phone calls, cards, letters and gifts of food and flowers.
We can find creative ways to make our love known to family and friends. We can pray for a worldwide spiritual awakening. We are not helpless because we are isolated. We can be about the business of the King.
Now repeat that little poem 10 times until you have memorized it. Then, the next time dullness comes calling, celebrate the truth that you are wanted for the business of the King. Say it to yourself: “I am wanted for the business of the King.”
You are — so get busy! Life will be sweeter no matter how long our seclusion lasts.
Walter Albritton is a Methodist minister and writes a weekly column for the Opelika-Auburn News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.