There’s no denying it - the COVID-19 lockdown in Australia has not been fun.

A few months ago, we lost our favourite past times – live music, eating out, sport and the gym, even going to church – and were confined to our homes. The cause was important, but it was a huge blow to many Australians as more and more of our freedoms were taken away.

Now, with fewer and fewer cases of community transmission reported every day, we seem to be moving confidently towards all of these restrictions being lifted, and a renewal of all those fun things we used to fill our evenings and weekends with.

But now that lockdown is ending, some people have begun to express that, to their surprise, they’ll actually really miss this strange period.

Family life

As coronavirus restrictions ease, Elisabeth Carter is urging people to continue to make space for things that "really enrich and excite you". PICTURE: Jessica Rockowitz/Unsplash

We live in a world where busyness is idolised, and the success of your life is measured by the number of social events you can cram into a Saturday (and post about on Instagram). But lockdown has forced us to pare back our lives to the bare minimum.

Work remained for most people (though not all). Family time remained. Basic exercise like going for a walk or a run could still happen. And home-based hobbies and leisure activities were still OK. But that was about it!

"Let me encourage you to not leave this clarity behind as the world starts to reopen. Ensure that you are making space in your life for the things that really enrich and excite you. Create time for family, gathering with other believers, and rest. And maybe consider permanently leaving behind some of the busyness of your pre-COVID life."

Surprisingly, though, many people discovered that actually, for them, that was enough.

It was a relief for parents to discover a life without three extra-curricular activities every afternoon. It was refreshing for couples to reconnect over takeaway without the pressure to find a creative new date night each week. It was motivating for gym junkies to relearn the simple joy of running outside. And many people relished in the chance to stop and rest.

On the other hand, some people realised that they really longed for the things they had previously taken for granted. Christians used to gathering at church every week found the inability to meet a real test of their faith. Children, at first delighted with increased iPad time, soon missed hanging out at the park with their friends. And many, many people realised just how much they missed their families.

Whether it was one of the few things you could do, or something you really missed, lockdown may have enabled you to see more clearly about what matters most in your life. But let’s not just leave it there!

Let me encourage you to not leave this clarity behind as the world starts to reopen. Ensure that you are making space in your life for the things that really enrich and excite you. Create time for family, gathering with other believers, and rest. And maybe consider permanently leaving behind some of the busyness of your pre-COVID life.

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly". I hope that lockdown has showed you more of what this abundant life can be.