Spending so much time at home right now gives us an opportunity for self-reflection and evaluating our lives in Christ. Whenever we get out of our comfort zone and out of our routine, we are forced to reconsider how we live, and when we involve God in this process, he often shows us important things that are easy to miss when we are humming along with life as usual. This is often the story of people who go on a cross-cultural mission trip. Being in a different culture puts people out of their comfort zone in a way that opens them up to what God is doing in their lives. This is why people tend to come back changed from these experiences. I believe something similar can happen to us in the present time, as life as usual has been interrupted to varying degrees.
As I ask people how they are coping with being stuck at home, there are two main themes that seem to rise to the surface. First, many people are realizing how much they actual enjoy and need community. It was easy for us to take relationships and human interactions for granted before this. After a few weeks of only seeing people in your household, we are becoming more aware of how much we crave human interaction and participation in a broader community. I think many people are realizing this and will come out of this pandemic with a different way of looking at the importance of community for their lives.
A second theme I see coming up for many people has to do with their pace of life. Many people are finding that their pace of life has been dramatically slowed down, and they are starting to wonder if there might be something good about that. I know not everyone is having this experience – some people’s schedules got a whole lot busier when they had to keep doing their job from home and begin homeschooling their children. I feel for you and am praying for you! For many others, though, they are unable to do many of the things they had previously committed to, and now they are left with a dramatically slowed down life. I have heard a number of people comment about how this is causing them to rethink their normal rushed pace of life. Maybe it is OK if we don’t work 45-60 hours a week. Maybe we don’t need to take on an extra commitment for every night of the week and every day of the weekend. Maybe I don’t have to be busy to feel important and valued. Similar to realizing that we really need community, I think there will be quite a few people who come out of this Covid-19 pandemic wondering how they can continue a slowed down pace of life once things get back to “normal.”
These two realizations have an enormous importance for following Jesus. We need community. We need a slowed-down pace of life. Those of us trying to practice these things in our modern times have an uphill battle on both fronts. While the world tells us that we are autonomous individuals who should only depend on ourselves, Jesus reminds us that we need community where we can learn to consider others’ needs above our own. While the world tells us that the busier you look the more important you are, Jesus calls us to follow him and not worry about looking important.
I want to pause for a minute to give you a chance to consider what God has been showing you over the past few weeks.
- What are you realizing about yourself during this time at home?
- Is there something you need that you are not getting right now?
- Or is there something you are getting now that you don’t normally have in your life?
- Does one of these things I mentioned above (community and slowing down) resonate with where you need to grow, or is God showing you something else?
I often write and speak at Bethany about our need for community. If that is what you need, I want to encourage you to take a step. Consider joining a Grow Group or finding another community at Bethany. You can email me to get started ( ).
As for slowing down, if this is an area you are feeling drawn to, I hope that this time at home can be an opportunity for developing a slower rhythm of life that allows you to have less hurry and more of Jesus. I just finished reading a great book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, by John Mark Comer. This book really digs into the idea that most of us in the west need to dramatically slow down our pace of life in order to follow Jesus. I have been aware of my need for slowing down for a few of years now, and I have made some changes in how I live up to this point. This book really helped me to pinpoint why slowing down is so critical to my discipleship and gave me some excellent ideas for eliminating hurry from my life. For anyone who is realizing that going back to a busy life is not what they want to do in the post-quarantine, you might consider reading this book. You can purchase this book online here.
Or if that is too much right now, because your life has somehow gotten busier during this time, I invite you to read and meditate on Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28-30:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.