It has been a strange couple of months. It is often hard but important to appreciate the good that comes of challenging times. For me, I’m grateful for how I was forced to slow down during these past 3 months.
My younger sister who lives in Texas quarantined here in Tampa with me for several months and I loved getting extra time with her. Sipping coffee on Saturday mornings like we haven’t been able to do for more than a few days at a time in years.
I read more books, spent more quiet time with the Lord, and enjoyed a lot more time outdoors. That doesn’t negate all the hard, difficult things about this time of health, job, and financial crisis but it does help me move forward to the next season differently. This pandemic changed me.
Anyone else participate in the exercise of morning pages? Morning pages are when you ‘brain dump’ by writing for 10-15 minutes every morning without picking up your pen. Whatever is on your mind you just allow to flow out. On Monday I wrote: The world is reopening and as it does I am fighting against my old ways. I still want quiet moments. I still want to be home more. I want deep, meaningful relationships and room in my head to dream.
When I went back and reread that days ‘dump’ I was surprised by how profound that felt for a 5:15am exercise. I don’t want to leave this pandemic season and not take with me the lessons I learned from a slower pace. I wrote that I like the person I am when I slow down so much more than busy Becca.
I picked up a book called ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’. It’s written by a Pastor and it takes you through his journey but also parallels with Jesus’s life in the bible as he examines what our pace is supposed to look like and what we can learn from the productive but un-rushed life of Jesus.
Author John Mark Comer says, ‘Hurry and love are incompatible. All my worst moments as a father, a husband, and a pastor, even as human being are when I’m in a hurry’. I relate so strongly to this and I’m betting some of you will find yourselves here too. Hurry doesn’t make me more gracious. It doesn’t make me more Christ-like. Whether or not I would have admitted it four months ago, it also hasn’t made me a better employee or coworker.
So as the world reopens I’m resisting the urge to return to normal and finding a new normal in more categories of my life than one. I anticipate continuing to use more hand sanitizer than ever before but also keeping more margin in my days and more freedom in my calendar. I’m continuing to study how Jesus spent His time in scripture and trying to glean some wisdom. This week I participated in a real Sabbath – a day of rest and worship. If Jesus took a day to rest after creating the world, maybe we should reexamine treating it like another weekend day.
If you, like me, have felt the value in this new, slower pace than I challenge you to fight to keep some of the good that has come of this time. Continue to spend more time with your families. Be slower to get up from your time with Lord. Be more available not just in body but truly available to the people you care about. Let’s have less moments of being our worst selves in the pursuit of doing more. We can live more intentionally when we slow down.
Becca Christensen is a Crossroads Career Board Member and the editor of this blog for 2020. She works in the healthcare construction industry in Tampa, FL. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic football fan, and competitive at any and all board games.