Life Ahead

by Rhonda Sittig

May 5, 2021


I think it was providential. In winter 2020, I read John Mark Comer’s remarkable, relatable book, The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. He talked about how our lives were so crazy, so filled to the brim and then followed with marvelous chapters on Silence, Solitude, Sabbath, Simplicity and Slowing. I was taken with the goodness of those ideas.

Within days of turning the last page of that book, the Covid pandemic hit. I was unexpectedly cloistered away in my home. Solitude, slowing and simplicity weren’t just ideas. They were my life. And to be honest, at first it was pleasant to be camped out on my couch with my stacks of library books and mugs of tea.

But like you, as the year rolled on I’ve missed friends around the table, hearty hugs, Sunday morning with my people at church and holidays with family. And we have friends who’ve suffered through Covid, know people who’ve lost family, lost jobs, lost their way . . .

And now, vaccination cards in hand, my husband Larry and I are seeing the light at the end of that long tunnel. And I’m surprised how hesitant I am to go right back into my pre-Covid life. Every decision to launch back out seems fraught.

So here it is.

I’m sitting uneasy these days, churning with so many questions:

Do I jump back in to all I was doing before?
Do I edit my life down to the simplicity of this past year?
Can God be calling me to new things?
Or telling me to let go of old things?
What does life ahead look like?

One podcaster talked about writing down every single thing you do on individual post-it notes—laundry, Sunday church, coffee with friends, watching Netflix, praying, family trips, scrolling the news, cleaning bathtubs . . . It can be dozens and dozens of post-its. Stick them on your dining room table. Then pick up the things you know you want/need to do and literally leave the rest “on the table.” That’s my plan.

I’m trying to narrow life down to the essentials, the very things God has called me to do. I want to hang on to my simplicity and solitude, my Sabbath days and quiet times before God. And to pick up again those things that help me love my family, care for my friends. That is enough.

So in these days I’m leaning on Psalm 32:8,

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.”

Rhonda is just back from three weeks in San Francisco, welcoming little Stuart (grandbaby number ten!) into the world. And she’s happily planning Grammy Camp again for this summer, after missing it last year.