Y’all know I love a list. So I think I’ll make a list about some things I’ve learned during the Great COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020.
- I have learned that it is hard to know whom to believe. A lot of educated people look at the same data and come up with different conclusions. And different recommendations. And different scenarios. And different charts, graphs, models, and pie charts. Finding balance – and truth – in this information overload has been a challenge. It makes me appreciate what James 1:17 says about God: there is no variation or shifting shadow with Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Even though finding the truth about COVID-19 has been like trying to find toilet paper during a pandemic, it is comforting to trust in my God who never changes.
- I have learned that adversity brings out the best and the worst in people. When pressure is applied to something, you find out what it’s made of. When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out. As people have been squeezed by the pressures of isolation, loss of income, and fear, we have found out what they are made of. And much of it has not been pretty. People have hoarded supplies they don’t need thus keeping them from those who do need them. People, outraged and divided over how local, state, and federal leaders have handled things, have spewed some ugly stuff on social media, often attacking others with a differing viewpoint. Despite the negative things that have been squeezed out of this, so much of it has been beautiful. A dad in the United Kingdom was determined to give his son what he wanted for his birthday – a trip to McDonald’s. Unlike here in the U.S., all of the Mickey-D’s in the U.K. closed during the pandemic. But that didn’t stop this dad from making his son’s birthday wish come true. Check it out here. People have had neighborhood dance parties where everyone stays in their own yard. People are out walking and riding bikes with their families. People are checking in on their neighbors and friends. People are appreciating the under-appreciated like grocery store employees and delivery truck drivers. Communities are rallying around local businesses and restaurants to help them stay in business through this. I could go on and on. I really hope that the kindness that I’ve witnessed becomes a permanent part of our culture after everyone has returned to work, stores have re-opened, and life gets back to some semblance of normal. I hope the good keeps oozing out!
- I have learned that all the times I’ve been told by people, “I don’t have time to study the Bible,” time wasn’t really the issue. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve watched my share of Netflix during this. I know more about the big cat world than I ever thought possible. But I have also had some rich time in the Word beyond what I would normally have time for. However, it doesn’t seem that many people have taken advantage of this opportunity to dig deeper into the Scriptures. I see people using this unexpected free time to do a lot of things that are good like bike riding, sunbathing (we need that Vitamin D!), and crafting. Of course, many parents are in over their heads with homeschooling against their will. (Homeschooling is hard.) However, this unprecendeted situation in which we find ourselves has given most people some time they did not have before that could be used to dig into the Word of God. This is the perfect time to not only study for yourself, but also to engage your kids in meaningful Bible study. One of the easiest ways to begin with your kids is to simply have a daily family devotion time. When my children were young and in school, we did it over breakfast. If you haven’t taken full advantage of opportunities to enrich your knowledge of the Bible and, therefore, enrich your relationship with its Author, don’t waste another moment. Binge on something that will make a difference in your life. There are 66 books in the Bible. Binge on that.
- I have learned that the Holderness family is HY-larious. Seriously, check out their YouTube channel for some good clean belly laughs.
- I have learned that I really do love people. When those would-you-live-in-this-remote-cabin-for-a-year-for-one-million-dollar posts make the rounds of the internet, I’m always the first one to say, “Heck, yeah! I’ll do it for FREE!” But I have learned that I really don’t want to live in some isolated, far flung location away from people no matter how cozy the cabin. I love people. And I am missing them. Even though I spend A LOT of time alone because of my job and my husband’s job(s), I have discovered that there really is such a thing as too much alone time. I’m ready to party, y’all. I’m ready to hug and talk and fellowship and laugh with people in person. I’m going to make a confession. I got my nails did. The first day Georgia salons were open, I was sitting in my nail salon getting my nails done. And it was glorious. Even though we were all wearing masks and it was a little weird, it was still glorious. I was grinning behind my mask because it was just so good to see people and talk and pretend like we had not all been stranded on separate deserted islands for 5 weeks. So, yes, I have learned something I never knew about myself: I really do love people.
Those are just a few things I’ve learned. I hope you have learned some things, too. There have been challenges, but there have been overwhelming blessings. I’ll bet if you made your own list, you’ll see the blessings have outweighed the challenges. Make one and let me know!