It’s interesting how our perspective changes when we can’t do the types of activities we are used to doing. Like many of you, I’ve gained a new appreciation for life’s simple pleasures over the past few months, and as things begin opening up again, I’m not taking anything for granted. Hannah and I have been in ministry together for fifteen years now, and something we’ve really come to look forward to is our date every Monday night. Since Sunday is typically our busiest day, we decided early on in our marriage that it’s important to carve out time for each other on a regular basis and just do something fun. In fact, this is a tradition that my grandparents started and I watched how it helped them through the years. Anyway, since our favorite activities on date night have been going out to eat, seeing a movie, or even taking a trip to Disneyland, the quarantine definitely cramped our style. In fact, as the weeks rolled on, we were longing more and more for a date. In typical creative fashion, Hannah came up with the idea of grabbing food and taking a trip to the church. When we got there, we put a blanket down in the front of the sanctuary, had a picnic, and watched a movie on the LED screen. In other words, we worked within the confines of our circumstances to find a special way to be together. Most importantly, we renewed our understanding that doing activities means nothing apart from the people you share them with.
My friend, as we ease back into a few of life’s regularities, my encouragement is to not lose sight of the clarity and focus you’ve gained in this season of quiet. As your concerns have crystalized over the past few months and you’ve realized what is truly important, do everything you can to maintain a reasonable pace and keep loving people at the top of your list of priorities. Remember that the places and things that have been beckoning you to come back are only made special by the ones with whom you share them. By all means, responsibly enjoy what the world has to offer, but reserve the bulk of your time, focus, and affection for that which is near to the heart of Jesus — the precious souls He has given you to share life with!