A common thought that is circulating on social media and even in the news media is that people should their extra free time during this quarantine to improve themselves. Apparently Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a quarantine and Isaac Newton invented calculus during a pandemic. So, these great feats are evidence that everyone should emerge on the others side with something to show for it.
There is pressure to learn a new language, improve an existing skill, get in shape, create art, etc. After all, the thinking goes, if we don’t do it now when will we ever get to it? Indeed many people are taking advantage of the downtime to do such things, but not everyone is finding the motivation or has the ability to be at their “best” right now. People are not all the same. We have varying responsibilities, we respond differently to stress, we have diverse approaches to life. Some of us are simply doing whatever we can to make it through the day – and that’s okay. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to these times.
At times we might look at other Christians and feel pressured to improve our spiritual lives. While God obviously desires us to grow spiritually, He doesn’t expect each of us to be on the same timeline. He knows us personally and treats us accordingly. “You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. I can’t understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me” (Psalm 139:1-6). May we be at ease knowing that God is not pressuring us to be on someone else’s timeline, because He understands and values our individuality!