9 May 2020

Matt Betts has written today's reflection..

There is a classic science fiction novel by Brian Aldiss called “Non-Stop”. I won’t spoil it by revealing too much of the plot or the big reveal, but a quick summary would be useful.

Curiosity is discouraged in the Greene tribe. Its members lived out their lives in cramped quarters, hacking away at the encroaching ponics. As to where they were – that was forgotten. Roy Complain decides to find out. With the renegade Marapper, he moves into unmapped territory, where they make a series of discoveries that turns their universe upside-down. 

I am not suggesting that after lock-down, we are all going to forget where we are, but the novel rings a bell for me in some ways. On my street, before we were told to lock-down, if we saw a neighbour, we would always give them a courtesy greeting, but say no more. Now that we are forced to stay at home and only get out once (though this may change), we decided it might be useful to have a WhatsApp group to keep in touch with each other whilst we self-isolate. This has changed everything, and we all know each other much better and enjoy the communication. Quite often, one of us gets shopping for the other, or will provide some milk when a neighbour runs out. Now and again a neighbour has surprised us with a beautiful picture, or cookies, or chocolate to give us a boost. And it works – it does give us a boost. Only yesterday, we received yummy cookies from the lady next door.

Life is so busy in each of our houses – home-schooling and work is one interesting combination – but now perhaps we have some of our priorities right. Instead of being so busy with getting a day done (driving here and there), we’ve had to stop and think about our day/where we are going in life/what our priorities are – and checked on our neighbours too. 

The novel, Non-Stop, is a reminder that we should look outside the sphere of our environment (even when we’re in our houses and not going very far). The people in the novel are stuck in a very small space, but don’t ever look outside. They fear the unknown.

However, we shouldn't fear the unknown. Love and compassion is not an unknown. It is from God.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”  1 John 4:16

Are you discovering more about yourselves? What can you do to make lives better outside your home? Is the self-isolation making you “think outside the box”? 

Let us pray:
Help me to be the person that you intended for me to be. Help me do what is right by my family and my friends. Help me see what is right and do what is best for the greater good of those around me.
Help me to better cope with life when things don’t necessarily go the way I may have liked them to. And lastly, help me to take better care of myself so that I can be a rock that my family can lean on. In Jesus name, Amen.