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Monday, April 6, 2020

The Empty Calendar

 


If you know my family or I very well at all, then you know this is a rare sight. 

 Typically our week days and our weekends are very full. Add in our full time jobs and building our first home together, and you have a family that is scheduled to the max. 

 There are usually appointments to keep, weekend meetings for me, family events, Tuesday archery practice, church commitments, etc.

 Our calendar runneth over. 

 But a few weeks ago, it became more and more apparent that our April was suddenly going to be free. 

 Emma’s birthday weekend and the plans we had for that? Cancelled.

 Our long awaited anniversary/Colt’s 30th birthday trip to KC? Cancelled.

 Our usual big family Easter? Cancelled.

 My monthly standing dinner date with my best friends? Cancelled.

 Emma’s Tuesday morning archery practice? Cancelled.

 With each cancellation, a new blank day appeared on our calendar until now we have this.

 A calendar with important dates, and new plans to celebrate them quietly-at home. 

 I have been thinking a lot about the ways this pandemic is going to change our society.

 The mark it’s going to leave. 

 I think some of the marks will be painful bruises and deep scars. 

 I think the government has done a fantastic job of scaring us into submission. We are suddenly suspicious of everyone and everyone is suspicious of us. 

 We feel like criminals in our grocery stores, and the definition of “essential” is ever evolving-ever changing. 

 We have new stresses and new expectations. 

 But we also have this.

 Empty calendars. 

 And for some of us this *forced* break from our “busy” lives is exactly the mark I think He is wanting to leave us with.

 This time to slow down and focus on what really matters. 

 This time to prioritize what’s truly “essential” or important and what is not. 

 I hope when we come out on the other side of this, that we don’t lose this: emptier calendars. 

 Because empty calendars mean that instead of being there-we are here. 

 Present. 

 In the moment. 

 And leaning a little harder into the One who holds all of our tomorrows. 

 Yes. It’s okay to grieve the cancelled plans. It’s ok to miss the hustle. It’s ok to get tired of being trapped in in our houses with our people who we love more than anything, but who also know how to camp out on our last nerve. 

 All of that is ok.

 But, it’s also okay to enjoy the feeling of an empty calendar for the first time in a very long time. 

 Because for some of us, this is exactly what our hearts were needing. 

 Whether we knew it or not.

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