Updated: May 7, 2020
I spent the past year going to the gym religiously. Although difficult to tell underneath a healthy layer of “cushion,” I am as strong now as I have ever been! However, a shift in plans has really thrown off my workout routine. While struggling to hit twenty push-ups a couple weeks ago, my aching muscles provided a revelation.
Reality suddenly hit. I had let the storm of a pandemic squander my routines, rhythms, and productivity.
Why does this extended time at home seem to crush our efficiency? Sure, stores are closed, you can’t hit the gym, and Zoom is the new definition of “hanging out,” but even if your regular rhythms are thrown off, there does seem to be time to accomplish those things that have been left on the back-burner.
How do we dig deep to get motivated in the midst of a pandemic?
We can maximize this season of disruption by renewing our perspective, diligently pursuing goals, and establishing routines.
RENEW YOUR PERSPECTIVE
Before we can get motivated, we must first get our minds right. Notice Paul’s view towards the persecution he faced because of his faith:
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
What incredible fruit suffering produces! We may not find ourselves in prison like Paul, but most of us are suffering in some way because of coronavirus.
God wants to grow us in this season.
There are good purposes during trials and change, and if we are unable to see the opportunity before us, we will miss out on growing ourselves.
How can we begin renewing our perspective? Start your day by thanking God for giving you a season of opportunity. Commit to a heart of gratitude and share with Him the blessings you continue to experience!
PURSUE GOALS WITH DILIGENCE
Another passage from scripture that provides guidance in making the most of this season is found in Proverbs.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Proverbs 21:5
Merriam-Webster defines diligence as "steady, earnest, and energetic effort," while hasty is defined as "acting too quickly or overly eager." It is interesting how the bible encourages a consistent, steadfast pursuit of our goals. Instead of bouncing from one thing to the next, to break the monotony of home-isolation, consider creating goals you can strive towards with intention over time.
What is one area you want to grow in over the next month? Maybe you want to improve your prayer life, read the New Testament, or call each of your relatives to cultivate relationships. Before closing this article, commit now to the daily time you will devote to that area.
Set a goal you will commit to pursuing diligently, and share it with someone who will keep you accountable!
Another habit that supports diligence is routine. The bible is filled with people who practice routines! Joshua was a man who meditated on God’s Word day and night (Joshua 1:8). Paul constantly prayed. It was Jesus’ custom to teach at the Mount of Olives. How is growing in routines fruitful?
“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts … And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:46-47
It is fascinating how God connects the routine AND mindset of the early Christians. A rhythm of fellowship and a heart of gratitude led to tremendous growth of the church! Routinely engaging in things that bring God glory keeps us going during tough times.
Let’s strive to establish routines in our daily lives. How about exchanging the time commuting to class to kick-start a new reading plan? Is there a special passage of scripture to memorize that you can review daily? Try creating a daily schedule that establishes some routines in your life.
Imagine reflecting on this season as a time of incredible growth. God wants us to make the most of this unique time. Don’t let changed plans change your pursuit of who God wants you to be and what He longs to accomplish through you. This season is not a loss; this season is an opportunity.
As you continue to step into life’s new reality, I hope you will press forward using these methods to maximize this time of unexpected change.
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
What area of life do you want to grow in while at home during coronavirus?
How will you create daily routines to work towards specific goals?
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