Being homebound this spring found me outside in the warm afternoon sun. I’d set up my camping chair in the front yard, plop down, and read a book. Like everyone else, being stuck at home meant that life had slowed way down, almost to a standstill.
As a result, I saw things I was too busy to see before.
That’s because my typical day is filled with driving. I drop off and pick up my children all throughout the day and into the evening. They take classes at hybrid model schools so their schedules vary from day to day. In addition, they participate in sports and other extra-curricular activities, including youth group. The past couple of years, I’ve considered myself their personal Uber driver. In addition to my job as chauffeur, my days were filled with writing and ministry duties, as well as all those responsibilities required to keep a household running.
And then everything came to a halt and I sat in my chair in the front yard.
And I saw life unfold before me.
Tree buds unfurled into green leaves. Flowers bloomed and fragranced my yard. Birds chirped and swooped overhead. On one particular afternoon, a frog hopped over my foot, a chipmunk popped out of its hole to engage me in a staring contest, and a rabbit munched on an afternoon snack. I then watched a woodpecker climb the tree trunk in front of me, while courting Cardinals danced above me in the sky. All of this life, just in my little front yard!
It made me wonder, how much do I miss when my day is filled with to-do lists and errands? How much life do I miss when I run from one thing to the next? And not just life in God’s creation, but what about spiritual life? What opportunities do I miss to minister life to others and receive life from them in return? What life might I miss growing in the hearts of my children? What life might I miss from not being in communion with the Lord?
I’ve heard others say they don’t want life to return to the level of intensity it was before this crisis began. I agree. I’ve enjoyed and treasured the talks I’ve had with friends, whether virtually or six feet apart on the walking trail. I’ve loved having dinner as a family together every night. I’ve enjoyed sweet fellowship with the Lord as I’ve lingered long over morning coffee with my Bible and journal in hand.
One thing I realized as I sat in my yard and witnessed God’s creation is that life is always going on, whether I notice it or not. God is always at work, showering his grace upon me and those around me. But when I’m too busy to notice, I miss out on the opportunity to be encouraged by that grace, to grow in my faith as a response to witnessing that grace, and to rejoice and glorify God for his generosity in giving his grace.
Too often, busyness keeps me from witnessing God’s glorious works and giving him the honor he is due.
If there’s one thing I want to take away from this unprecedented experience of pushing pause on life, I want to be intentional with what I do with my time. I want to make life a priority, not tasks. I want to make people my primary concern, not crossing items off a to-do list. I want my eyes wide-open to view God’s grace in bringing life to dead places. Just as I did in my front yard, I want to see spring blossom in people.
I want to witness and testify to life.
Originally published here.