Rhythms for the COVID-19 Pandemic
During this continuing COVID-19 season, we’d like to offer you some suggestions to follow as you consider a “Spiritual Rhythm” to help keep you grounded in your faith journey with Jesus.
As always, start simple. Choose one practice, a few, or all of them if you want. But please, do not turn them into a checklist! Or a bar to achieve! Focus on the practices that keep you grounded in Christ, period. And remember, this is your call: be present to the presence of Jesus.
Up – Upward to God
Begin and end with ‘presence’ instead of ‘screen’
Before you do anything else or touch a screen, begin your day with God in prayer, meditate upon Scripture, and be present to the presence of Jesus. End your day in the same way. You could follow the recommended daily reading plan, making that a habit. Or set your alarm to pray for the world and COVID-19 at 12:12pm. Try lighting a candle at the end of the day to meditate upon the light of Christ as the hope of the world.
Cultivate gratitude. Use a gratitude journal in the morning or evening. Develop habits of sharing moments of thankfulness with friends or family. Gratitude cultivates a worldview of grace—receiving all of life and salvation as a gift.
Resist the urge to “make the most” or “maximize” this season. Commit to a full day of rest in which you cease from work, social media, and news for 24 hours. The Sabbath keeps us in sync with the rhythms of God’s creation.
In — Inward to Self
Take care of yourself by getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. Shower. Get dressed and ready for the day even if you’ll be staying home. Keep your environment clean and tidy. Try to find simple ways to move for 20-30 minutes a day. All these things impact our mental health. Read this article for more ideas, or, this great resource for mental health from Anne Shannon (RCC).
Limit media and escapism
It’s difficult not to constantly check the news or refresh our feed. The temptation to scroll is endless. Consider limits around your consumption. Perhaps 60 minutes a day at a specific time during the day. Take note when you’re using anything as a way to escape and try to be present to what is going on within you at that moment.
With — With-ward in Community
Prioritize intentional connection
We are made for relationship. This is a time to press into our interdependence. Identify a few core people and be intentional about how often you’ll connect with one another. Share openly about your experience during this season. Prioritize your virtual community group meeting and virtual/in person worship on Sundays.
Out — Outward in Mission
Expand your circle
People will feel increased loneliness and isolation during this time. There are needs around you, if you have eyes to see. Be creative about finding safe ways to continue to serve.
Used with permission. For more information check out the website of St. Peter’s Fire, Vancouver, B.C. and the book “Rhythms for Life” by their lead pastor, Alistair Sterne http://www.alastairsterne.com/rhythms/together