Submitted by Andy McIlvain.
As I sit at home with my wife under a stay at home order for our state I am grateful. Just a few short months ago the world went about its everyday routine at a frenetic pace, nothing could affect us (or so it seemed), we were – we thought – masters of our own fate. Now store shelves are empty, many things are in short supply and will become even harder to get. This virus, this disease we now call Covid-19 is seemingly the topic of most of our conversations and the focus of our day. Yet what we have is a forced slow down, a grinding to a halt of all economic and social systems.
Social distancing as a way to slow down the spread of the disease has in reality created unprecedented closeness and social interaction not seen in decades. Busy and more-is-better has been shattered. Now in our lives there are many things that we just can’t do. That is a blessing as well. Simple is better.
The coronavirus pandemic then is a gift. Our pride and overconfidence in a global economy and global communication like all human endeavors is replete with false self-reliance. When the structures of Science and society break down, we quickly discover how dependent and vulnerable we are.
We have less to do now, more time to think and be reflective, to pray; more time to read, to simply “be”! Time with family is now as it should be. More options and more choices have become a distraction to what is important in life: Christ and each other.
The Christian way of life should not mirror the world around us and it often does. Now we have a God given opportunity to reprioritize what is significant and of value. Don’t wish for what was; it is gone forever. Be thankful for what can be, now in this present moment. Some will be blessed in our reawakening to what is truly important in life. Some will be blessed in death.
If you have always wanted to do something for your family, or your church, workplace, or community, now is the time. Don’t put it off; do it now. Stop being a spectator and be a doer. Get to know your neighbors. Call them on the phone and ask how they are. Ask the local food pantry or Salvation Army what you can do to help. Even with social distancing there are many things that can be done. Be creative in this unusual time.
When God sent the Israelites to the Promised Land, he sent them the long way in order that they would repent and ultimately see his grace and mercy. He is doing the same for us now. Your current journey in this wilderness will teach you to repent through the difficulty of illness, misbehaving children, and whatever else comes your way, so that you will know the grace and mercy of God and not lean your own understanding.