Written by Tim Day –
Almost 20 years ago, Bill Murray starred in a movie called Groundhog Day. His character woke up every morning to repeat the exact same day. A friend said recently to me, “I am living Groundhog Day.”
For many Christian leaders during the Covid-19 crisis, it feels like we are trapped in the same day. Same chair. Same desk or table. Same computer. Endless zoom calls. Day after day.
The BBC just posted an article why zoom calls are so draining. (https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200421-why-zoom-video-chats-are-so-exhausting) I hear this regularly when I talk with leaders…on my zoom meetings. We have never felt so exhausted from seemingly doing nothing but sit at our screens all day.
God wants to renew us each day so that we can continue to serve our congregations and communities. But how do we do this? Here are a few practices that I find really help me.
- Use zoom (or whatever platform you use) for work but then go for a walk to talk to friends or extended family on the phone. I try to do a walk after lunch each day to call and check in on some of my loved ones. It really helps to break up my day and work towards my 10,000 steps.
- Make books a part of your day. Journal. Read your Bible. Read a good book. Don’t let your laptop and TV be the only thing you look at.
- Stay physically active. Walk, Jog. Stretch. Lift some weights. Keep moving. For many of us, we have lost the normal ways we move about and so that now must become a daily discipline.
- Create separations from work and cultivate routines to relax and be refreshed. Close your laptop at 5 pm. Take days off when you don’t look at your laptop or answer emails on your phone. Switch to doing a project at home. I put together a 1,000 piece puzzle in my first three weeks of lock down and that was a wonderful way to relax.
In Luke 5:16, it says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray.” If Jesus was in lockdown, what might have he done? Maybe something like, “Jesus often closed his laptop and went for a walk to talk to His Father.” May God renew us daily as we serve Jesus and his mission during this crisis.