The coronavirus pandemic came into our lives like a tornado, upturning everything we thought we knew. It altered our lives, jobs, finances, living-arrangements, created space for more family involvement, and changed how we view the world. We confronted our thoughts on healthcare, being essential, the government, laws, and the economy, as well as the importance of relationships. We also faced some of our greatest fears. Every single area of our lives was tossed into the air to fall down into a new place. It also produced a lot of calamity within our lives during the process.
The epidemic caused us to re-evaluate our lives. We turned every single area inside out, analyzed it, and decided its value going forward. Any drama or area of emotional distress was given time to breathe, the intensity began to fall, and we were left with a sense of ease as to the result. We let some things go completely. Perhaps it was the need for more luxury goods, relationships that drained us, time wasted in certain areas, or even jobs that did not fulfill us. We gained a new sense of self due to the focus on family. The thought on everyone’s mind was, “We are important. Our family is important. Our relationships are important. There is nothing more important than all the people we love being alive, well, and together.”
In biblical times, there was the Jubilee Year. In the Jubilee Year, which took place once every fifty years, no work was to be done all year. The land was to rest and recover, promoting ecological health. It was a time to stay with family, rest, and enjoy the stillness and joys of life. Slaves were also to be freed, debt released, and property returned to its original owners. It was an economic upheaval which leveled the financial playing field, allowing all to prosper. Though the Jubilee Year was rarely observed due to the radical nature of its ideas, it was still a command set forth by God to allow all to prosper and flourish.
The year-plus of pandemic is as close to a Jubilee Year as I have ever seen. We all stayed home with family, played with our children, and many of us rested from the amount of work we normally do. Some of our lives were busier as a result, but the focus on staying home with family remained. If we had lived in biblical times, I would imagine we would have sat around a fire, singing songs and playing games with the children. We would have talked far into the night, sharing stories and discussing the world. We did that this last year. We also slept more than we have in decades. As a country, we rested as much as our circumstances allowed.
This has been a time to pause and reset our lives. We may never again come to a time like what we have experienced, with all the good and the bad. God willing, we will never again see the economy and businesses shut down like they did in the spring of 2020. We may never spend as much time with our families as we have. We reprioritized the people in our lives because we had to. As a country, and throughout most of the world, we collectively paused. We stopped most of what we did on a daily basis.
As we get going again, we move forward with a different feel. It is like restarting a computer. We shut down collectively, and now must restart. As we restart, let’s make it a priority to function better. Let’s prioritize those things that give life, bring a sense of fullness and joy, and let’s move forward with our priorities straight. The senseless “busyness” of the American lifestyle to accomplish and show oneself of value doesn’t have to remain with us. We can start fresh now. We can create new patterns, a slower lifestyle, and a bigger focus on others’ welfare rather than our own individual needs.
As the pause on our lives comes to an end, let’s restart strong. Here are a few questions to help you reevaluate your life as it restarts.
Reality Changing Observations:
1. What are my priorities in life, and what do I need to do to make sure they remain priorities?
2. What did I learn during the coronavirus shutdown?
3. What can I get rid of in my lifestyle to live in more freedom?