The world is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic and now is good time to slow down, stop and probably even re-think life: what really matters to me?
Before I answer the question of what really matters to me, I would like to look at a few things, I believe, are a problem with the life before lockdown.
Everyday is often fast paced as we run from pillar to post trying to catch up and check off the endless to-do lists that either we or someone else has created for us. Amidst such a rush, we neither have time nor energy to stop and re-think life.
We are literally trying to survive the long list of requirements off of us on any given day. Most of us have forgotten what it is to say no to certain things, slow down and love a child who is in need of love, to lay back and relax and enjoy the nature that God has created because we have not trained ourselves to see what matters most. Some of us, have somehow even tricked ourselves into believing that being busy is being productive. Being busy with a countless number of tasks makes one more successful, feel accomplished and/or feel like we have an edge over the other because of our busy lives. But is this what life is all about?
The Busy Bee
I am one of those people who is busy, at least I keep myself busy because I cannot handle idleness. To stop and relax is not something I would do. Given a chance I will finish all my work before I rest. And let me break that bubble, work never ends. There is always enough work to keep a person going. A wise person once told me, we need to stop, take a break and say I am done for the day because there is always a lot of work. It will keep coming but we need to say, that’s it for today, that’s all I’ll do in this season of life, this is all I can do with my current ability.
There are somethings that we can never be busy for: these I call life’s interruption that require your attention. Immediate attention. Quality and quantity time with spouse, kids, family, attending to an ill person, calming a child who has had a nightmare, coaching a child through a meltdown etc.,
With this pandemic and lockdown, life has slowed down. No stepping outside the home, no people to meet, no errands to run nothing.. Life has surely slowed down but still has to go on. I don’t know if I can change who I am with respect to being busy, but I sure can use my time wisely in the things that matter the most.
The question then circles back to what matters most to me?
God is my first priority. What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever! Adoring him by knowing him more each day through the reading and meditating of scripture, to glean from God’s word, and to love and serve the family that He has given me.
Which brings me to the second point, family! Family is a gift from God. This pandemic has brought in a realization in me that this family that I have is such a blessing. Yes, I am stuck at home. But I am not alone, I have a family!
I know of certain friends of mine, singles, who stuck all by themselves because of the social distancing and lockdown. Yet, I have the gift of waking to 3 lovely faces every single day! Thank you God for the gift of family.
This also lead me to think of those empty nesters! Oh, how lonely would they be!
I know there will be a time in my life when my children leave home so as far as it is today let me be cherish this family that God has so graciously given me! Here are some of the things that I choose to do in this time that I have with my family:
- Cooking with my kids
- Teaching kids watercolor painting
- Play fun games with kids : puzzles, Skip Bo, carrom etc.
- Dance and sing with kids
Re-think homeschool strategies:
While the world has suddenly found themselves as ‘Suddenly @home Homeschoolers’ ( a term I heard at the Homebound conference) we have have been homeschooling our children for the last 3 years. Around the same season of the lockdown I happened to attend this conference called Homebound. This has been amazing! They shared so many lovely resources. So I would use this time to re-think my homeschool strategies in the light the newly acquired knowledge!
Give hope to the hopeless:
The world around people need hope at this point in time. They are scared of death. They are wondering what will happen in the next weeks/months to come. By being open to conversations about fears with the other people and why I am not scared of death and the hope that I have in Christ and the life that I have after death can help people re-think their beliefs. The Government has ordered social distancing and I will honor that. So using technology to connect with people helps!
Spend time in prayer:
With a lot of time at hand, I resolve to pray. Pray for my leaders, pray for my church, my family for the government, for the officials, for the nation, for the sick , for the doctors who are serving, for their families, for the police, for law and order, for municipality etc who help us stay safe and help us by providing law, order, a clean city, food supplies etc.,
Weaning off the phone:
Nothing good ever happens with overindulging with the phone. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop and an idle mind with a phone is a recipe for disaster (binge watching, overly chatting etc.,). So, I will restrict myself to the usage of phone only at select times so as to reduce the urge to check my messages constantly. Also, if people need me urgently, they can always call me!
Making lasting memories:
There are certain relationships that need my undivided an immediate attention: My Spouse, my kids, my family. Everything else can wait. Because I am a wife, a mother, a daughter , a daughter-in-law, a sister, a sister-in-law and these relationships cannot be taken lightly. They are irreplaceable. A post at work, a friend or a counselor are replaceable. But these are not. So why spend time wasting on phone but use the time to make lasting memories with people that matter the most! Dancing with my children, cooking with my children, catching T.V shows or movie times with a spouse are ways that I choose to make lasting memories with my loved ones.
Be the joy that you want to see. Joy is contagious! So, I choose to be joyful for the today that God has given and try and be as cooperative and loving to the family that God has given me today!
In short, God and the family He as given me is all that really matters to me!