“Time is flying by. And time is standing still,” a friend observed to me the other day, trying to sum up how life has felt during the coronavirus pandemic.
I think she captured exactly how the past few months have felt. Somehow it’s already August even though it feels like we never quite made it past Easter. It’s like our real lives have been frozen in suspended animation, but we’re still walking through them, disconnected from time and reality.
It reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Megamind. (Any other fans out there?) In the scene, the superhero Metro Man is locked in an observatory, about to be blasted by a laser beam courtesy of the villain, Megamind. Metro Man realizes he’s tired of battling Megamind over and over. Using his super speed, he leaves the observatory and starts wandering through the city to re-evaluate his life. Because of his super speed, everyone else looks “frozen,” holding perfectly still in sometimes comical poses as he meanders past. The world is paused while he takes time to reflect on his life.
The world is certainly paused for us right now. The global pandemic has meant putting plans on hold, cancelling events, and suspending our normal lives. While it’s been difficult, I think it’s also an incredible chance for deep reflection. Many of us take time to think through our lives and goals around New Year’s, but we might only do that for a few days before life gets back into full swing in the first week of January. In 2020, things have been slowed down for much longer, giving us a golden opportunity to evaluate.
Like Metro Man, we can meander past all the things that normally fill our schedules, the people in our lives, the things that were automatically part of our world, and decide if perhaps something needs to change.
Below is a list of questions to use for reflection. Take some time to read through these questions and pray about your answers. Maybe God is using this epic global pause to show you things that aren’t working in your life, or guide you towards some changes.
10 Questions to Ask During the Pandemic Pause
1. What do I like about pandemic life – how can I keep this even when things go back to normal?
2. What do I miss during this time – how can I be intentional about adding it back in?
3. So many autopilot parts of my life have been paused – which will I try to not re-start?
4. What changes have I been contemplating – is now finally the time to make them?
5. What relationships am I glad to have on pause right now? Do I want to keep investing in them?
6. As I reflect on everything that’s happened during the pandemic, what am I happiest about? What am I saddest about?
7. Have I learned something new about myself during this pandemic?
8. What has God confirmed in my life during this time?
9. What discontent has been brewing in me for a while, and how can I make a change?
10. What goals or dreams have been growing inside me during this time, and how can I make those happen?
At the end of his time of reflection, Metro Man realizes that he doesn’t want to be a superhero anymore. Spoiler: He fakes his death and pursues his dream of becoming a musician, taking on a new name, Music Man. It’s a big change, but you get the idea that the discontent of being a superhero had been brewing inside of him for a while. It was only when he took the time to reflect that he was able to make the decision to change.
I don’t know that many of us will end up making as drastic of a change as Metro Man, but I do know we can see these circumstances as a gift. We have a unique opportunity to walk through our paused lives to reflect, evaluate, and change.
Which questions from the list were especially helpful for you? What are some of the changes you’re hoping to make?