In the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic I was weirdly hooked on the numbers. I remember I would rarely miss the moment when the Ontario Dashboard was updated each day. How many new cases? How many deaths? What did it mean? What did it mean for my family, my wife-come-homeschool-teacher, or my church? What was next? How long would it last? What would the government do? On and on it went.
It was partly the anxiety of living through something entirely new and threatening, but it was also, at least in part, a reasonable response. It makes sense to want to know more about something that is important, it makes sense to create a daily habit of checking in on matters that impact our lives and families.
I wonder how come I, and many others, had the time to check in daily on those numbers but maybe not as much time to read scripture, pray, journal, or meditate? Why did we find the time for all that information gathering and responding but not find the time to check our bank statements and make sure our finances are in order, or check our blood pressure and make sure our bodies are functioning well, or check in with our spouses to make sure our core relationships are doing well?
I don’t check those Covid numbers anymore, I have no idea what ballpark the numbers are in.
So what is eating that time up that I used to find for staying so up to date? The time I used to refresh the dashboard page, the time I used to read about what it all meant, the time I used to strategize about what to do as a father and as a reverend.
I would love to sound pious and say it has transformed straight into time with the Lord. After all I firmly believe the spiritual side of life matters, I have staked my life and adult work on the importance of having a relationship to Jesus. There is absolutely no sense in which that is less important than Covid. For those in faith knowing where we are going and into whose arms we are to be welcomed trumps even death itself.
And yet here I am.
A bit more time and I imagine it goes into Facebook scrolling, and Netflix and Youtube, and sports news for teams playing games I don’t even watch anymore.
As spring arrives there is a sense of freshness, of new life, of starting again. I intend to start again by grabbing back those precious minutes and putting them to good use. This is not a burden, it is more like the fresh air that blows into our homes as we finally open the windows after a long winter, it brings change and it brings life, and it brings hope.
How did you spend your time in Covid?
What sorts of elements in life do you count as critically important? Have you been taking care of them? Your finances, your health, your relationships, or spiritual well-being?
How have you spent the “extra time” I assume we all have now that we are no longer riveted to our devices seeking clarity about a pandemic?
We just finished walking though lent, a time of reflection and for many a time to recognize which patterns we have slid into a little too easily or thoughtlessly and to commit to correcting course. It may be a major change or a minor adjustment but if we are honest some sort of shift is needed.
The good news is that it is not late, the patterns can be overcome, health of all sorts can be just around the corner if we commit to changing what we need to change. As the flowers poke through the ground and eventually blossom may we blossom alongside them. The Lord be with you as you take on the day!