In the changing landscape that is being produced by this current COVID-19 pandemic we are all adjusting to a new way of life which is certainly challenging the ways we once knew.
The other day I did my weekly coffee run to my local coffee shop, where I once would sit in there for hours, plan out my week, sketch the workers in there and pray for this business. Now I was standing out the front along with many loyal customers to this business. Instead of sitting in or out the front of the cafe a temporary trestle arrangement is set up, one of the significant changes to this local haunt.
On this day being my true self i would say hi to the crew standing 1.5m apart as we waited for our coffees. The funny thing is that what I have seen in just 3 weeks is that strangers are talking to strangers more than ever, even though we spaced further apart. It seems the very thing that is keeping us apart is actually drawing us together.
One particular conversation this morning I started was with an AFL player and my line of conversation with him was how was he dealing with his current change of circumstances. For you that don’t know COVID-19 has brought all sport to a grinding halt and so where once thousands would pour through the gates of Australia’s biggest stadiums they were now ghost towns.
With this the players of these professional outfits have been told to stay home and train and taken away from their normal lives of training, gym and strict regimes looked over by professionals that keep them accountable to their goals.
It's in this context that as i spoke to this player I asked him what the biggest challenge was in the current circumstances? He said to me that he has to be ready to play, but without knowing when the next game would be.
It got me thinking about the fact that this was the case for all of us. We are needing to be ready for life to start up again or to restore to what it was but without knowing when that day will be.
It's in this question that we do have a choice. We have a choice to be ready not knowing the day, the hour or the moment or we can just slump back in a way that is essentially living our lives on pause.
I really don’t think that God would want us to live in a way that is like hitting the pause button. It seems that as i scroll the social media feeds that so many are being reflective about the way life used to be. It is almost like there is a certain amount of grief that is being put out there all over the internet with people wanting things to return to how it used to be.
Then there is the option to keep living fully and embracing each day as a gift for we know the Word of God says
“This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Each day even in COVID-19 circumstances is a gift and should be lived as fully as those days we lived in the past. The major difference is that we are realising that so much of what we thought was so important to our lives, literally has been reduced down to the things that really matter.
I came across this quote in the past few weeks and even though it's in the context of World War 2 it's very fitting to this day and our COVID-19 experience.
Satan: I will cause anxiety, fear and panic. I will shut down business, schools, places of worship, and sports events. I will cause economic turmoil.
Jesus: I will bring together neighbours, restore the family unit, I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table. I will help people slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not the world. I will teach my children to trust me and not their money and material resources.
While Satan's words are scarily accurate I want us to focus on the words of Jesus in this quote. This quote clearly shows us the contrast between living life on pause and therefore fear, grief and anxiousness or living life fully and discovering again so many of the most important things in our life that have until now been consumed in busyness. Now we have a chance to stop, to rest, to connect and to be thankful.
When things do return to a way where we are able to go out, socialise with people and return to our workplaces or new places of work we would certainly not be wanting to say
“Well, I wish I had lived that past 6 months better” or “wow, how did I get myself in this state?”
We want to return to a new way of living. One that embraces the lessons we learnt in isolation and one that allows us to take on life fully and be ready for when the next season of post COVID-19 life shows up.
Our challenge right now, just like that AFL player is to live our lives ready for this day, this hour, this moment in the future. It may be a month, 3 months, 6 months, or even 1 year as we don’t really know what each day brings until we wake that day.
So when you wake each day, challenge yourself to not be slack, lazy or living life on pause, but rather see this time as a time to get into routines, keep up your training and be open and learn a new way of living. For there will be amazing growth that will happen out of this time in Isolation and you will be more ready than you ever would have been when people return to the streets, sports teams run on the stadiums and we return work in the same space as our colleagues.
Married to the amazing Liana Monaghan for 13 years, a fellow creative that is just trying to release a little bit of heaven this side of eternity. How do I do that? I draw, paint, love people and surf my way through the streets and beaches of South Australia.