Right off the bat, I’m going to be quite honest with you all in regards to how I’ve been living my life. I am a  type A person who is “go! go! go!” until there is no more mental energy to “go” anywhere else. To be transparent with you, I feel as if this way of living has been rubbing like sandpaper on my soul. I swing the pendulum back and forth so forcefully and rapidly that I’m either going at one hundred percent or in recovery. Since graduating college, I have yet to find that sweet spot of balance in between doing everything and doing nothing.

There are countless cons created by the novel COVID-19, my phone is sure to remind me of that every hour, but my goodness have I found a pro!

When business was as usual in Colorado 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 one of our favorite pastors, John Mark Comer’s, new book 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 is not the way of Jesus. I would like to say this book shook me enough to radically apply it to my life, but it didn’t 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 in Colorado. Church buildings are closed with worship offered virtually, 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 that silver lining. To reclaim your schedule, to reclaim your family, your relationship with Jesus, your life!! Use this 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, hopefully 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 Commer: “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?” (The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry, p. 255).

–Jessyka Dooley, RMC Assistant Youth Director