We all know this past year has been a challenge unlike any we’ve experienced before. I think its safe to say that no one has come through it without some mental anguish. If not for themselves, then for others.
For myself, Covid just extended what was already a lonely time of resetting myself. I had spent the previous 6 months meeting with God to figure out my past and my future. And then my future was put on hold by Covid. And I was isolated even more from people I loved.
My response to it all has largely been to hermit. Spend my time alone, in my house, getting things done, but also escaping reality through Netflix and Instagram.
As a result, my health issues were not improving, and I began to feel pretty numb again. (TV seems to have that affect on me.) But I wasn’t as alone as I thought.
The Lord was creating some opportunities that I didn’t expect or look for, to connect me with beauty again. First through renewed friendships and meeting for Bible study, then through exploring my creativity and recently He convicted me of the effect of Netflix, etc. and I gave up ‘mind-numbing entertainment’ for Lent. Which has freed some time.
In thinking about my health issues, I realized that I used to walk every day. I had been told 15 years ago that I would not feel well unless I did so and at that time, I took up walking either outside or on the treadmill (and watching TV) but since I had been working full time, walking became less of a priority and I’d nearly given it up altogether.
But spring helps with creating a desire to be outside again and so I’ve been walking again. I aim for at least 30 minutes a day and I’ve been letting friends know that I need walking buddies. So re-igniting some friendships that haven’t had enough attention the last year has been a great side benefit.
Frankly, I need people as much as I need exercise. I am an extrovert and connecting with others is great for my soul.
But the other benefit is that being out in creation is making me happier. The heather looks vibrant, the bulbs are blooming, the magnolias are starting to flower and I get to chat with my neighbours. All creation is waking up from this long year and reminding us to be outside. It awakens my soul and tells me that just as the Lord is faithful to give the flowers and trees what they need to thrive, so is he with me. I have what I need to get through each day and its tasks, and plenty to make it enjoyable besides.
I’m so good at putting my nose to the grindstone and missing these blessings. And letting my health deteriorate in the meantime. Sometimes I wonder if that’s why the Lord gives me/allows physical difficulties – so I’m required to slow down and look around.
How does God get your attention?