Every Sunday I call my parents in New York. It is a joyful time of catching up and talking about the weekly online sermon I’ve given for my new church in Florida. In every call, Covid-19 and its impact is mentioned.
My 83-year-old dad misses his daily walk with his best friend Johnny to McDonalds for a cup of coffee. “I feel like I’m in prison in my own home,” he says. He is not alone in feeling isolated and confined in this time of quarantine and social distancing. But one thing these strange circumstances have offered is the opportunity to take a deeper look at our lives.
Here are a few things the coronavirus is causing me to reflect on:
1) Explore the Past
Our past offers a window into our hearts, where our treasure is. If you’re struggling with social distancing, one thing I would suggest is to allow yourself to think about the past.
How did I live my life before the pandemic? What were my priorities? Who are the people that I love and miss today?
What lessons can you learn from the things and people you are missing? Are there things that were in your life that you believe you should not go back to once the pandemic has passed? As someone wise once said: “The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson.” Looking back is about learning, not feeling guilty.
2) Recognize and Admit Mistakes
There is no learning until we become aware of past missteps and missed opportunities. If you find yourself feeling bad, pause and say a prayer. Then let it go. It takes courage to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit our errors. “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart,” states Proverbs 27:19. Now is a good time to closely examine all aspects of our lives, including the ways we have fallen short and can do better.
3) Move Forward with Hope
One of the most important things we can do during this crisis is to open ourselves to the prospect of a better future. Looking back to move forward with hope is the aim. Remain adaptable and flexible as you walk into the unknown, knowing you can create new and better experiences. People gain greater insight when they intentionally pause to reflect on where they have been and where they want to go. A promising outlook on life is possible even if life is turning out very different from what we thought it would be.
These unprecedented times of isolation offer a great opportunity for personal growth when we choose to examine our lives with courage, truth and grace. Time alone, if used wisely, can help us become a better, caring and loving person.