It’s too soon to start thinking about life after COVID-19, isn’t it? We’re only two years into the pandemic quarantine…

No. Wait.

Maybe it’s two weeks. Or three. Possibly a month…

I hate to admit it but, unless I check the calendar, I’m not sure how long I’ve worked from home in this ongoing, never-ending, please-God-over-soon quarantine. My hope for an end to this sometimes falters and I suspect I’m not the only one.

Can’t researchers make a vaccine any faster? A cold is a virus so another virus is no big deal, right? Why won’t people stay at home? Wear masks? Quit meeting? You know the questions we all ask and probably the solutions we secretly propose because we’re in this together and we share so many of the same questions and frustrations.

Today, I want to shed a little hope and light into our mutually tough time.

It may not seem like it right now, but there will be life after COVID-19 and the pandemic. An enormous global opportunity lies before us. We have the rare option to use the time during the pandemic and resulting quarantine to seriously consider our lifestyles, keep what is honorable and good, and let go of the vain and meaningless. We have a chance to choose a better path than the one we were on. To choose change.

Most of us have worked from home for several weeks now. We’re building new patterns, new work habits. We’re learning fresh ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Maybe we’re cooking at home more because eating out is not as easy an option as before. Our shopping habits, and likely our spending habits, have changed considerably.

Pandemic life

Pandemic life is seriously different from our “normal” lives but it isn’t all bad. Our quarantine forces us to slow down. Be still. Spend more time with our immediate families. Enjoy our children in new ways. Make an effort to stay connected to friends and family. It forces us to face the possibility of catastrophic illness and death and to evaluate the substance of our lives.

As a closet introvert, I probably struggle less with quarantine than my extrovert friends and I have to admit—I’ve loved the isolation. The quiet. The stillness. The lack of crowds. I miss you all and would love to give everyone I’ve ever known (and a few I don’t) a huge hug and maybe a kiss on both cheeks in the Middle Eastern way. They’re in the future but, for now, I’m content.

Life After COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is without a doubt a global tragedy of illness, suffering, and death but it would be an even greater tragedy if we fail to learn from it and seize the opportunity to choose change as we go forward. We can cling to our former lifestyle and attempt to return to the same hectic, insanely busy pace as before but why would we? Many of us were stressed to the max, exhausted beyond belief, and frantic with our out-of-control schedules. Why resume what was likely to kill us?

Why not choose a different path as we go forward?

Imagine for a moment what life would be like if we chose to keep our slower pace. What if we kept some of the changes we’ve made after we return to the workplace? Shop locally more often. Give up some of our busyness to spend more time with the people we say we love. Enjoy homemade fun. Write notes of encouragement. Embrace snail mail. Take long walks with our children and family. Picnic outdoors. Exchange fast food for slow-simmered delicacies. Learn new skills. Look out for our neighbors. See needs and meet them.

Choose a fresh start

A new, slower pace and a fresh start would be worth it.

By now we miss the blessings we’ve taken for granted…family, friends, church families, hugs, gatherings. What if we cherish them enough to keep them close as we go forward? Safeguard our connections. Strengthen our faith ties. Continue to spend time reading our Bibles, studying, and prayer.

What if we gave up our sense of entitlement and our me-first attitudes and, in life after COVID-19, chose to hunger and thirst after righteousness?

During a recent Whisper Connection Zoom call, we talked about what it means to hunger and thirst for righteousness.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

We asked the question, “For what do we hunger?” and came up with a variety of answers.

Health
Peace
Prosperity
Meaning in life
Serve where we can be seen
Connections
Power
Reputation
Righteousness

We do want righteousness but at that moment it wasn’t on the top of anyone’s list although it should be.

The dictionary defines righteousness as freedom from guilt and sin. In practical terms it means so much more. When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we allow God to correct what is wrong, sinful, less than godly in our lives and make it right, righteous, godly. We open our hearts to Jesus and allow Him to make us more like He intended.

I can say with confidence born of experience this process will force us to relinquish a few choice sins (especially the ones that seem “little” to us) and embrace a few disciplines. It will require us to allow God to smooth our rough spots and soften our hard. The search for righteousness will not allow us to remain unchanged but it will be worth it.

Make a start in anticipation of life after COVID-19

My greatest pandemic fear is not sickness or death. It’s not even someone I love becoming infected, sick, or dying, although those are very real fears. My greatest fear is leaving the pandemic unchanged by the experience and I’m taking steps to ensure my outcome. I’m hosting Monday through Friday Whisper Connection Zoom conversations, memorizing the Sermon on the Mount, and learning French. I’m making a start…

Friends, if we’re going through this, and we are, let’s make it count and come out different, more loving, more kind, more outward-focused, more like Jesus.

Time to begin:

Scripture:

Read Matthew 5:6, 2 Timothy 2:3-15, 22-24

Questions:

  1. For what do I hunger and thirst?
  2. How high is righteousness on my priority list?
  3. How would my life look if I truly hungered and thirsted for righteousness?
  4. When the pandemic and quarantine end, what changes do I want to see in my life after COVID-19?

Challenge:

Choose one positive change to begin over the next few weeks and make a start. (Learn a foreign language, memorize a passage of Scripture, learn a new skill, start a Bible study, etc) Commit to practicing your change every day during the next week. Tell someone to hold your accountable.

I hope this helps, friends. Let’s don’t come out of this battered and bruised in spirit and discouraged of heart. I’m counting on us all to make fresh starts and come out of this challenge so much better (and more like Jesus) than when we began. 

I’d love to hear about your personal positive change, so feel free to leave a comment. 

Au revoir pour l’instant, mes amis. Je prie pour vous.
Goodbye for now, my friends. I am praying for you.

Leanna

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Here are links to a few other posts you might enjoy:

How to Deal with Grief: Lessons Learned from COVID-19

How to Trust God in Hard Times

Will We Make Room for God in Our Lives?

Contentment Regardless of Circumstances

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Life After COVID-19: Choosing Change Now