Treat life like a marathon, not a sprint


Lessons learned from the pandemic, life is a marathon of shifting priorities.

If you’ve survived the past year mentally intact, count your blessings. For the past year-and-a-half, we’ve been getting nowhere in a hurry. We’ve all been forced to get off the fast track and adapt to a new normal.

Life shifted, priorities shifted, and we’ve either surrendered to it or resisted it. The world as we know it was brought to an abrupt halt, forcing us to rethink everything we thought we couldn’t live without.

Whoever coined the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog a new trick,” never lived through a pandemic.

We have been pushed to the edge of our comfort zone, and surprisingly, we’ve survived. Thankfully, the human spirit is more resilient than we could ever imagine under pressure.

One criterion for surviving the pandemic life is a shifting of priorities. The struggle has been very real. Priorities have shifted away from life in the fast lane to the stop and pause lane, a shifting from a materialistic norm to a reassessing of value systems. Adapting, pivoting, and shifting priorities have all been essential to our new normal.

With a village of supporters, social media, and many other creative online platforms, we are getting through this maze of unpredictability. Pandemic life has exposed our flaws in guiding us towards a more compassionate humanity. Our new normal has forced us to confront our fears.

Hiding beneath the facial masks are a wide range of human emotions. People’s emotions are all over the map with pandemic life.

While shopping at a local home and garden store, I encountered an individual that was very reactive to the masking situation. She was vocal in stating her disdain for masking. She hated the fact that masks had replaced smiling faces with emotionless faces. She was spot on with her assessment. However, at first glance, I saw someone who was angry and lashing out. But on a second glance, my compassion caught a glimpse of something deeper being implied that was shrouded in anger.

This became a teachable moment in moving forward with less judgment and more compassion. Life is truly a marathon nuanced with many layers. Therefore, we live and learn as we go.

Much of life is relative to the immediate situation at hand. Pandemic life has been humbling in teaching us how to live in the moment. So, the lesson here is that we will know when to bend, so we don’t break under the pressure.

Now, where do we go from here with all the lessons learned surviving a pandemic? Fear or faith? Choosing “faith over fear” can be a great source of comfort for embracing uncertainty.

The Serenity Prayer written by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr speaks strongly to faith and life’s unpredictability. Commonly quoted as: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

Kimberly Strain

Your Pastor Speaks

Kimberly Strain is pastor at the Outreach Christian Center, 77 London Road, Building B, Delaware.

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