I can remember a time where I woke up every morning to my alarm, put on real clothes, went to work, got home, ate dinner, and recovered from my long day only to start over the next morning. Some weeks, I would have obligations multiple evenings in a row, after which I would come home and go straight to bed. I would long for a night where I didn’t have anything to do. I would look forward to the weekend because it was on those two days that I actually had time to get things done on my to-do list that I didn’t have time to do during the week—clean the house, grocery shop, run errands, and check on people I love. (I know, I know. This was only 5 weeks ago, but it seems much longer.)
There are so many things I claimed I would do if I had the time or energy to do them. The skincare routine I found on YouTube and bought all the things for? I was always too tired to do it before I went to bed. Starting my morning with a 30-minute centering prayer? The 30 minutes got shorter and shorter when I didn’t want to wake up as early. I also had plans to finish the book on my nightstand as soon as I had some space to read. I knew I could do all of these things and more if I just wasn’t so busy… if I just had more time.
Now, here we are. I have been told to work from home by my “non-essential” place of employment for the foreseeable future, and the city is in “shelter in place.” I am literally being told by the government to stay home. While there is work to be done for my job, I have more time than I know what to do with. I have been given the gift of time that I always wanted, but have I done all of the things I thought I would do when given the chance? Have I started my morning with a 30-minute prayer, done the skin care routine before I went to bed, or finished the book on my nightstand? None of the above. Why? Why have I not done anything I said I would do if I had the time? Priorities. My priorities haven’t changed, even when given the time I thought I needed.
Examining the life of Jesus, we are able to see how purposefully He spent His days. How Jesus spent His time shows us what He valued. Whether it was personal prayer, fasting, teaching, or serving others, we can read the Gospels and see what Jesus prioritized. If I hold up a mirror to my own life, am I able to say the same thing? Would my daily actions reflect where I find the most value? Or am I letting worldly distractions like Netflix and social media waste my time from where I want my true value to be found?
During this bizarre season our entire world is walking through, everyone’s days are going to look different depending on life stage, job requirements, and responsibilities. You may be trying to keep a 3-year-old occupied while having a Zoom meeting. Your job may require you to work shift after shift at a hospital while looking for childcare. As a single adult who lives alone, you might be in a season of loneliness. Regardless of where you find yourself, my hope is that perhaps this period will be a chance for you to reexamine your priorities. Make a list, if that’s helpful. Do you value your children? You may have more time with your children than you will ever have again. Make this time count! Do you value your health? Use this time to practice making healthy meals or exercise outside. Do you value serving others? Reach out to local nonprofits and ask, “How can I help?” Above all, now is the time for our lives to reflect the value we say we have for our relationship with God. Prioritize time in the day to draw closer to Him in your favorite way — spending time in scripture, listening to worship music or a sermon, or taking a contemplative walk in nature.
We’ve been in “shelter in place” now for five weeks. Look at how you’ve spent the past few weeks and take inventory of how you’re using the extra time you have right now. If your life today doesn’t reflect your priorities, do something different! With the current situation our world is walking through, we are in a unique position to make positive changes in our lives. Let’s not miss it–let’s make the time count!
By Lindsay Judy. Lindsay has been attending and serving at Harris Creek since the fall of 2012. When she’s not working as a speech-language pathologist at a local school, you can find her planning her next adventure to a new destination.