There is a normal order within our world. We are all used to it. Oil companies command the price they want to keep our automobiles rolling. Actors and Actresses are the rich and famous, and people flock to see the next block buster movie, while movie studios rake in billions of dollars. Professional athletes command their millions in salary and the media follows their every word. Meanwhile no one really gives a thought about the clerk who stocks the food on the store shelves, or truly appreciates the work that a schoolteacher does. No one thinks that the person who chooses to work in the medical field is probably risking his or her life. We are all used to receiving the goods and services we desire when we wish, and the world moves from day to day; with us being able to count on those around us. Our churches are open and even if people don’t show up our freedom to worship is unhindered. Isn’t that our world?
Sometimes we may wonder what it would be like if the tables were turned and all the assumptions we make about wealth and freedom suddenly became untrue? What if oil was worthless, and no one went to see the performance of those in the entertainment field or the athletes playing their game. What if people came to realize how significant is the work of the common person, and sometimes even those in more prestigious jobs were required to sacrifice more than anyone thinks they should have to. What if we lived in a world where our freedoms are curtailed, and our worship gatherings are restricted?
Yes, I know you understand where I am going with this. This is what this pandemic is doing to our world. It has caused a change in the value of many of the goods and services we are used to in life. It has reduced our freedoms and habits.
However maybe this isn’t all bad. Perhaps there is silver lining among the storm clouds. As the world seems to pause perhaps it is a good opportunity to consider the pace at which we are moving and evaluate what is most important in life. Perhaps these times may cause us to value one another a bit more and have deeper empathy for the people who are serving others the most. Maybe someday those who are working the hardest will be paid what they really are worth. Perhaps we can learn to step into each new day with a little more compassion and patience. It’s not that this was necessarily lacking, but sometimes it is easy to overlook another’s needs if we are tending to see only our own. I think that this pandemic causes us think more about others –that is if we are wise. Finally, perhaps these moments should make us think about the value of worship, and our expression of faith in God on a day to day basis. Who are we if we are not attending church on a weekly basis? Where does our faith show up within us and beyond us, when our normal patterns of worship are disrupted? What do we learn about ourselves and God within these times?
If we consider all things, we may discover that God is ever present within life, and never confined. Maybe these days are a good time to remember that we are always the church. We are not of the world, but certainly always to be within the world. We are always blessed –in the high times and in the low times; in the glad times and in the sad times. As the world is forced to slow down, perhaps today is a good time to think about many of these ideas and realize that God is with us. These challenges will eventually pass, but there are blessings to be gathered even now; while we have a quiet moment within life to hear God’s voice speaking to us.