Do you know about cocooning? It’s been around a long time but our culture just recently gave it a name. Here’s how it works: You roll out of bed in the morning and rush off to work. You come home, let yourself in, then lock all three locks on the apartment door. You turn on the TV, make yourself a snack that’s just short of lethal and settle in for a long evening of nothing. Four hours of inane drivel on TV will be your only contact with civilization again this night. Sort of like the worm that lashes itself to a branch and disappears from view. Only you don’t even have a butterfly to show for it. Next morning the cycle begins over.
Hardly a formula for leaving a grand legacy. Not a good template for a prospective world-changer. But Brother Don, I’m so tired when I get home from work. I deserve the evening off. Really? I hadn’t read that far in the book yet. Could I gently suggest some non-taxing options that may even help you sleep better. Like spending the first potentially reclusive hour making some quick phone calls to the folks who were missing from your Sabbath School class at church last week? Or maybe some of the “missing in action” who haven’t been there at all for a while. Shut-ins…those who, because of age, illness, or distance don’t get to worship often. A quick call might be the most exciting thing that happened to them all day. Not to check up on ‘em, you understand. Just to communicate that they are loved and missed.
Another suggestion: You might spend a while working at praying through your church’s membership list. You don’t need a lot of details to be an intercessor. And for your pastor. Or – a whole different direction – maybe you could spend an hour studying Spanish so you can visit with the new family that just moved in down the hall. (And be better prepared next time your church plans a mission trip to Honduras.) Or that nearby mom who comes home to a couple of high-energy kids. How about offering her a free hour of baby sitting so she can have a few minutes to herself. That may change your whole mood because people who spend time with young kids live longer than those who don’t.
A butterfly is a thing of beauty but so is a re-energized believer who converts a potentially wasted evening into an event that may change the population of eternity.
-By Don Jacobsen