by Jessyka Dooley—
Right off the bat, I’m going to be quite honest about how I’ve been living my life these past few weeks. I am a type A person who is “go! go! go!” until I run out of the mental energy to “go” anywhere else. To be transparent, I feel as if this way of living has been rubbing like sandpaper on my soul. My pendulum swings so forcefully and rapidly that I’m either going at 100 percent or I’m in recovery. Since graduating from college, I have yet to find that sweet spot of balance, somewhere in between doing everything and doing nothing.
There are countless cons resulting from the novel coronavirus; my phone is sure to remind me of that reality every hour. But, my goodness, have I found a pro!
When business was as usual during November 2019, my husband Kiefer and I began listening to audiobooks whenever we were driving in the car together. We had long been anticipating a new book by John Mark Comer, one of our favorite pastors: The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Ten minutes into this book we had to hit pause and sit there soaking in the words that rang all too true for both of us. We were hurried, rushed, overwhelmed people—and that kind of life is not the way of Jesus. I would like to say this book shook me enough that I radically began to apply its teachings to my life, but that isn’t what happened, at least not completely. Events still needed to be planned, materials still needed to be created, staff still needed to be hired, spreadsheets still needed data, and I still felt the need to find meaning in what I could do.
Fast forward to March 2020. Business is not as usual. Restaurants are closed, offices are virtual, students are distance learning, and the future is uncertain. Amazingly, this crazy time has forced me to slow down. There is still so much work to be done, but it seems more manageable. My schedule is mine to create. There’s no such thing as being too busy to spend quality time in prayer or to go for a walk.
While all might not be right in the world, I encourage you to find your own silver lining. To reclaim your schedule, your family, your relationship with Jesus, your life! Use the opportunity of minimal distractions to set aside deliberate time with God each day. Make meals that will bless your body, exercise, get some fresh air, have meaningful conversations with your family and friends. Use this time to feel more like a human being. God created you to enjoy life, to create, to be filled with joy and peace!
Someday—I hope soon—COVID-19 will be our history and not our present. Life will gradually return to a new normal. So, what will your new normal be?
I leave you with these words from John Mark Comer:
Should you enlist in the war on hurry, remember what’s at stake. You’re not just fighting for a good life, but for a good soul. So, dear reader and friend, you, like me, must make a decision. Not just when your own fork-in-the-road kind of midlife crisis comes (and it will come), but every day. How will you live? (Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, p. 255).
Jessyka Dooley is assistant youth director for ministry for the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, headquartered in Denver, Colorado.