As our church starts to work on our plan for returning, it strikes me that many of the same questions that we’re asking as a community may ALSO be relevant and important for us as individuals and families.
For better AND for worse, we’ve been given a moment of pause… a time to reset and restart our lives… we’ve been given a choice to change. But the true value of that opportunity lies in our ability to ask some hard and deep questions BEFORE we return back to whatever becomes the new normal.
Oftentimes, in life, we feel like we’re on a treadmill… we do what we do because we always have, or because it’s the next step, or because it’s what everyone else is doing. And yet, pretty soon we find that we’re just trying to keep up… or we are too busy to question what we’re doing or even where we’re going…
More than that, there’s a helplessness that settles in… since we feel a pressure to keep up the pace, and yet, it’s the pace that keeps us from having the space to ask these hard questions.
But, then, a few months ago, everything stopped.
(or, at least what was normal stopped)
And while this has been difficult and unsettling, it may ALSO be an opportunity.
As we START to think about returning, but before we turn the lights back on, it’s worth asking some questions:
- What is WORTH returning to?
- Are there new things that we have found in this time that we should keep?
- Are there any things that we should not be returning to?
Some examples may be helpful, though your list should be different from mine…
- I look forward to returning to (and being more intentional about) community. I want to do a better job of letting people know that they matter to me. I have missed being with my friends and church family.
- In this time, I have engaged in my children’s education in a way that I had not, previously. And, while I have a newfound appreciation of and admiration for teachers everywhere, it has been good for me to be more involved in what my kids are actually learning. And, it has been good to show my kids MY love of learning. (In the interest of full disclosure, they are less thrilled with their parent teachers, and they are VERY excited about getting their REAL teachers back as soon as possible! – but that’s a win too 😊)
- Before all of this, I found that life had a way at eating away at my evenings and weekends. We’d sign up for one thing and then all of our Saturdays would be gone. Or, we’d prioritize one activity (or even one person’s activity) over the whole family – to the detriment of the family. And while there are times for that, maybe not ALL of the time. I have enjoyed being able to spend more free time together as a family. Maybe, in the long run, that’s more important to us than doing more things.
Again, your list should look different, but it’s worth having the conversation or taking the time… BEFORE things just start moving back to ‘the way things were’.
How often do we get a wonderful (and terrible) opportunity like this, to take stock, to reset, and hopefully soon, to restart a changed life back up again? What if we made the most of it? What if we didn’t just try to go right back to where we were… but became something better…
Keep praying, keep connected, stay safe,