In This Together

I have started watching a new (well, new to me) telenovela – AKA, an Argentinian teenage soap opera. I watch it every chance I get.  Honestly, when I have any spare time, I don’t really feel like being with people. I figure if I’m quarantined I might as well make the best of it by doing things that I want to do, right? Right!

But maybe not. Lately I have realized that just because we can’t be around people doesn’t mean we can’t be there for them. Jesus says in John 15:12 says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  

When John asked me to write another article, I thought, “Umm. . . okay?!” I was a mix between nervous and excited. He asked me to write on the topic of community, and how we can still have it during these hard times. As I thought about this, I realized that we have a community in our very homes. We have our family.

I feel like every time my youngest brother asks me to play with him I tell him I’m too busy or that I’ll play with him later, which of course turns into never. Well now I have too much time to really be busy. So what’s keeping me from quality time with him? I’d say my thought process leans on selfishness: my time, my life, my way. But this me centered thinking will only lead to furthering the isolation we’re in right now. (Yes, even more than what COVID-19 has already done.) This doesn’t mean “me time” isn’t a good thing, but it is possible to have too much of it (says the introvert).

Now is the perfect time to get even closer to family, before the quarantine ends.  Right now we have family around us 24/7. This may be… no, it will be hard at times. But the thing is, spending time with them now will make it easier to spend time with them later.  And who knows? You may even realize just how wonderful quality time with your family actually is.

Now, maybe some of you reading this are thinking, “But I’m an only child!” or “I’m the last kid in my family that lives at home!” Well good news guys. There are these beings that live with you called parents, and they can actually turn out to be pretty cool.  So even if you’re an only child, you’re not off the hook!

For me, it can be hard to be with family. My room is a quiet haven, and I’ve got that list of things to do that will take a lot of my unfocused time. Writing this, I can see and hear my family spending time together, and it’s great! Togetherness is wonderful. So I want to challenge you to go to the community that shares a roof with you. Even if it’s just sitting down to dinner together, or watching the Jake and the Neverland pirates movie that your little sister watches every. single. day.

I’ll end this with one more verse.  Proverbs 18:24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  When I read the phrase “closer than a brother” it makes me realize what an opportunity I have to truly bond with my own family and it convicts me that that my family should actually be some of the people closest to me. So are we going to sit around watching soap operas, or are we going to use our quarintime (haha) in good and productive ways? I don’t know about you, but I want to come out of quarantine a better me, and I know that a stronger relationship with my family is a great way to do that.

Isabelle Ekbundit is a sophomore and is homeschooled. She enjoys reading, writing, and active in the local theater. She is a dedicated member and active leader in Pleasant Valley’s Student Ministry.

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