Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16)
John William McGarvey was born in 1829 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He became a Christian at the end of his first year in college. Three years later, he became a preacher.
When the Civil war began McGarvey was preaching for a small congregation in Dover, Missouri. Every day people met to talk about little else but the war. The newspapers were, of course, full of war news. McGarvey, could have spent his time reading the reports and sitting in the general store pontificating with others on how the war ought to be fought – or whether it ought to be fought at all. Instead, he spent three years writing a commentary on the book of Acts. My point is this: When McGarvey found his world falling apart, and chaos all around him, he made sure to take some time to feed his soul.
We cannot ignore the present crisis. But might I suggest that while we practice “safe distancing” and conscientious hand washing, that we use some of the extra time we may have to feed our souls. If you have not begun a daily reading of the Bible, do that. You may not make it all the way through this year, but you might just develop a habit that will change your life. Set aside a time for prayer and mention by name all those in our family you know. Phone a friend – perhaps one you haven’t connected with in a while. Use your time for something good.
Watching TV, listening to the news (for hours on end) will not make you a better person, may make you feel anxious and rob you of faith and will certainly waste precious time.
By the way: McGarvey’s became one of the most widely used commentaries on the book of Acts in the 19th and early 20th centuries.