They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8
The word grounded has many different implications, right? One could be on an airplane that has been grounded because of weather or other circumstances, and it’s not going anywhere.
I recall only one time in my childhood career being grounded in which I was not able to go out with friends. I wasn’t going to go anywhere.
Today, many of us feel grounded, and we aren’t going anywhere due to covid-19 that is forcing us to remain distant from our normal routines. Schools are closed, students are sad and frustrated about all the things they are missing out on, teachers are scrambling to figure out ways to connect with students and offer online learning. Gyms, restaurants and stores are closing or adjusting their hours. We are told to stay home, plans and gatherings are being cancelled. The reality is beginning to settle that we are feeling grounded.
For the year 2020, my word phrase was “Grounded and Nourished.” (You can see my coffee mug is my 2020 mug as a reminder) As I attempted to find a new rhythm that would allow me to not just keep my feet on the ground but establish a sense of knowing that when all is chaotic, I kept my focus on the Creator, on God. Lately this looks for me like making sure that I practice some self-care, walking, turning off all media outlets for even an hour is good to quiet the mind and re-center, I have a morning routine of stretches that I try to do along with a few others. Nourished in a way that I might find some new ways to nourish my body, mind and soul so I wouldn’t get dehydrated, in a physical and spiritual way. Some of the ways include a morning devotional reading, spending time in Scripture (other than sermon preparation and writing), prayer (either while walking or journaling or most recently while I’m washing my hands). And when I might be grounded but not well nourished things still feel out of whack and vice versa.
How are you? Are you grounded? Are you nourished?
Maybe the better question is how will remain grounded and nourished in these days?
I mentioned the one time I was grounded as a teenager? If my memory serves me correctly, I wasn’t too happy about not being able to go anywhere. But eventually I adapted and found ways to live into the new rhythm that I would endure for the time being. I share this, because while it seems inconvenient, and annoying to some that we are being told to stay home, to work from home, to remain socially distant, we will survive this, as long as we remain grounded and nourished.
In John 15, we are reminded to remain connected to the True Vine, that when we remain connected, we will grow. I wonder if we all might be able to use this time to find that new rhythm?
- If you haven’t already, spend some time each day reading the Bible. I usually try to read a Psalm each day and one chapter a day from one of the Gospels (in full disclosure, somedays it is one or the other).
- I also recommend Pray As You Go website or app on your phone for a 10-13 minutes daily reflective, meditative listening tool of scripture and reflection. This is great to listen to if you’re able to get outside and walk, or to just sit in the comfort of your home.
- Turn off social media and the news for a while. I had someone ask me just today if I had heard the updates … I responded with the fact that I was going to remain in my happy content place for a few more minutes before I turned the news back on. It is ok, in fact for our own sanity and well-being, we NEED to turn off the news and noise. Allow yourself some quiet.
- Call or facetime a friend or family member, check in on each other, laugh at silly things as you joke and wonder about where all the toilet paper went?
- Remember, when we’re home all day, it is easy to not care, and not stick with our routines, but now more than ever, it will be so important to practice self-care through routine. It will also be easy to sit and watch movies or tv all day, to eat all day, to drink all day, these things while not bad are not healthy when it’s all day. These are the things that will not keep one nourished in a healthy way.
- Go for a walk or exercise, even if it’s stretches or walking around the backyard.
- Read a good book, listen to a podcast, play a game, put together a puzzle.
- Be sure to spend some time in prayer. Whether it is in journal form, while you are walking around the backyard, washing your hands or holding a cup of coffee in your hands, pray for your family and friends, pray for your neighbors, near and far.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
These are just some of many ideas that might help you find a new rhythm to where we can remain grounded in God’s peace and presence in these days of what seems to be chaotic. And nourished in God’s love and grace as we live each day to the fullest.
My prayers are with you all, as together we navigate these days. now…go wash your hands!