Pandemic diary: Following Jesus in the thick of it
As COVID-19 emerged and the pandemic swept our schools, universities and workplaces, life as we knew it ground to a halt as we entered a truly unprecedented era. I for one could never have imagined 2020 to be as it has been.
The narrative of this pandemic is edged with crippling loneliness and isolation as we have endured the invisible barriers of lockdown. The brewing frustrations were evident in every socially distanced supermarket queue, catch-up phone call and news headline, as the longing to simply return to the usual drumbeat of daily life grew.
Often-overlooked privileges of coffee dates with friends and fellowship with our local churches became a distant memory as restrictions and prohibitions multiplied daily alongside accelerating fatalities. Nothing was immune.
Stripped of daily activities and special occasions, time was seemingly slipping by. In God’s eternal perspective what do we draw from this season? My reflections are rooted in Romans 8:28. God promises to work all things (including this pandemic) for the good of those who love Him.
After four solitary months I completed my LLB and was offered a temporary paralegal role for the summer. Eager to return to the bustle of London city and utilise my newly acquired law degree, I dived into my new role head first. Shrouded in the positive appraisals of colleagues and revelling in growing responsibilities, I readily doubled my working hours and my workload increased.
As a new career chapter was blossoming, spiritual disciplines which had flourished in the slow pace of lockdown were fading to the background. Previously savoured morning and evening devotions became confined to a 20-minute task spread between my bedroom and a train ride, whilst I consoled myself that my demanding work schedule left me no choice. As quickly as it began, my temporary role concluded.
For months in lockdown, I had learnt to lean on God in my solitude and silence and He had proven so faithful. The fire to follow Him and please Him alone had almost, without warning, become dampened as I became consumed by the working drumbeat. Striving to establish and advance our legal careers, the demands of the profession continually increase as competing interests multiply daily. ‘Busyness’ has become the adorned crown of success in the modern age of acceleration. A full schedule of activities and commitments have become our purpose pillars of functional peace.
Examining the pace of Jesus’ life, modern life does not share many similarities. Jesus had the greatest mission to complete in a short period of time, yet Jesus was never rushed. Jesus moved at the pace of the Father and not of the world.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). We are called to adjust our lives to the Spirit, not expect God to adjust to ours. God takes the lead, and we follow.
As believers in Christ, we are called to more than this world. God has mercifully gifted us an effective vaccine. The return of ‘normal’ life is on the horizon. Let us be imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1) as we enter this new season and pray to keep in step with the Spirit of God:
Lord we thank you that you have graciously blessed us with a vaccine as we know every good and perfect gift comes from You (1 James 1:17). Lord we pray that the new attitudes, pace, disciplines and perspectives that You have taught us in the stillness of the pandemic will not be fleeting. Lord remind us that we are called to walk with you always, and not the world. Lord we ask you for the wisdom to know how to glorify you in our gifts from You whilst always holding You as our supreme treasure.
Current LPC Student
Life-time follower of Jesus Christ
Photo by Bence Boros on Unsplash