Just the other day, I was on a phone conversation with one teenager who is in grade 12 about the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown. Surprisingly, she told me that these have been one of her best moments in her entire life. I had to probe further because that was not the response I had expected from an outgoing and fun loving young lady. She went ahead to explain to me why she considered this lockdown a blessing. One of the things she said that caught my attention was that she had been able to cut off many people who she did not need in her life. This was a deep reflection from a young and bubbling grade 12 girl.
Part of the regulations of the Covid-19 lockdown was social distancing in order to curb community transfer of the corona virus. Many people are now requested to stay indoors and work from home. All outdoor activities have been suspended expect for daily essentials. To some, this is a disaster while to others like this teenager, it has been a blessing. There is no doubt that this unsolicited compulsory holiday will have long term effects on our relationships in one way or the other.
One of the ways this “stay-indoor regulation” will impact on our relationships is on the family front. The daily hustle and bustle of modern life seemed to have crippled the ideas of family life with catastrophic consequences. I heard a story some years ago about a man who came back home from work earlier than usual. His own child did not recognize him and mistook for a visitor when he knocked on the door to their apartment. This story looked far-fetched but it underscores the impact of modern day hustling on family life. With this lockdown, family members are “forced” to stay in-doors together. What an opportunity for parents to discover their children, husbands to “find” their wives and vice-versa. It is indeed a time for family reunion and to discover that our greatest possession is not wealth or position but the people who are closest to us, our family members.
On a personal note, I suddenly discovered with this lockdown that my children have missed some of the things I enjoyed while growing up. Based on this discovery, I acquired a table tennis and basketball equipment which we have fixed in our compound. Oh what a joy to teach my kids table tennis and join in making some baskets with them! The excitement I see on their faces is priceless. Thanks to Covid-19 lockdown.
In life, there are certain things that we erroneously think that we cannot do without. We have lived and made to believe that without certain activities, our lives were incomplete. Covid-19 sit-at-home order has proved this assertion to be very wrong. This teenage grade 12 student said to me, “I have been able to cut off people that I do not need in my life.” This period is the best time to pause and rethink your circle of friends. There are people who add values to your life and make you to desire to be the best you can be. Others are like parasites and all they have done is to suck life out of you. There are “friends” who are better described as “fair-weather friends.” When this is all over, you must have succeeded in pruning down who your friends are.
The greatest relationship anyone can have is with his/her creator. If there is any time in your life to work on your relationship with God, it is NOW. You are not an accident of nature nor are you a product of chance. You are carefully and meticulously crafted by God to fulfil a predetermined purpose. The greatest life discovery is the discovery of God’s purpose for your life here on Earth. You have always postponed this day due to deadlines that needed to be met. You have always wished for a day like this when the pressures of life will permit to do a soul search and to fulfil the purpose of your creation. Do not miss this great window that has been presented to you on a platter of gold. Are you in good terms with your Maker? Have you travelled into a “far country”? Have you forgone the weightier matters of life in the pursuit of mundane and ephemeral things of life? The only thing you will enter eternity with is the salvation of your soul. Thank God for Covid-19 lockdown. Make the most of this season and sort out your relationships!
D Kingsley Ufoama Tobi writes as a guest from Namibia..He is an ordained Christain minister and a Specialist Anaesthologust. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the department of Anaesthology, University of Namibia.