COVID-19 has changed everything… and that’s okay | creed of jesus
COVID-19 has changed everything… and that’s normal
Our lives are marked by a series of moments of transformation. These moments separate the story from the future. One moment life is one-sided and the next life will never be the same. These will be the times that people will point to as “everything changed”. I’m sure the discovery of fire was a moment as was the discovery of electricity. For my generation, it was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. JFK’s election was a validation of our nation’s youthful hope for our future. We were going to the moon. Nothing was impossible for us.
All that changed in an instant in Dallas, Texas.
For those younger than me, the terrorist attacks of September 11 were that moment. Before the attacks, we had always assumed that the terrorists would bomb elsewhere. Our nation, protected by two great oceans, would never see an enemy carry out a successful attack on our soil.
That all changed the morning two planes crashed into the World Trade Center. Our dreams were lost in the puffy dust of the collapsing towers.
In an instant, all the past is lost and the future is suddenly unknown. The whiteboard of our lives is erased and whatever was written on that board before this transformational event is no longer relevant to what we must do now – who we must become now.
Everything changed in an instant.
The pandemic was one of those times. Our lives before COVID-19 and our lives after COVID-19 seem like two different worlds. Many of us don’t remember our lives before COVID. Within weeks, our entire lives were changed. Suddenly we were trapped at home for days, then weeks, then months. We couldn’t get into the office. We couldn’t run errands and we couldn’t go to school. We couldn’t go to church. We couldn’t go anywhere.
And something happened when we stayed home. We started thinking about our lives differently. We started to think of each other differently. Parents suddenly homeschooled their children and we began to rethink the educational process. We rethought the time and energy our jobs were taking from our lives. We have redesigned the price we and our families pay. Many of us have decided that it is no longer worth the cost.
Many people quit their jobs. Many people have retired. This phenomenon has been called “The Great Resignation”. People quit their careers, change jobs, move to different cities and do anything to try to find a life more in line with their values. When the world ended the pandemic, many people used those days to re-evaluate their lives. When they realized the life they were leading was not the life they really wanted to live, they quit their jobs.
The other thing the pandemic has given us is a sense of urgency. The random nature of the virus has made us all realize that no one lives forever. Knowing this, people made the decision not to put off the things that were important. If something was worth doing, then do it today. Tomorrow you could catch COVID-19. People are no longer willing to put off what they consider important, and they are much less tolerant of wasting their time.
And the churches are going through the same transition. In our caution to bring things slowly, we discovered that a lot of what we were doing was worth nothing at all. We were spending buckets of money and tons of man-hours only to realize that while people might have been entertained, they hadn’t changed a thing. No one was closer to Christ. Nobody looked like him anymore.
We were wasting a lot of time. It was a hard medicine to swallow, but the truth hurts a lot before it sets you free.
But it frees you if you let it.
The good life is quite simple — it’s not easy, that’s another question — but it’s simple. The deep life of faith is also simple. It is made up of discipleship, worship and mission. Each of them has individual and corporate components. For example, even though studying the Bible alone is important, it cannot be our entire Bible study. Why? Because the first person we lie to is ourselves. You need someone to hold you accountable for the text.
You must also be involved with others in worship. Why? Because there are times when you cannot praise God alone. You need your brothers and sisters to sing with you. Other times you need it to accompany you in worship. Life will have been too hard for you and you won’t be able to sing at all. Your brothers and sisters will sing for you.
And you must serve the world for the good of the kingdom. Find the place where your gifts, your passions and the needs of the world meet. Why? Because there are lessons of faith that we only learn through obedience. By doing what the Lord commands, we learn the validity and reliability of His teachings. The second reason is that the world is so exhausted listening to the church talk about love that they are very skeptical until they see the love of Christ in action. When they do, they recognize the truth about who Jesus is in the lives of his people.
That’s it. That’s all we can say about it. COVID-19 has given us the perfect excuse to declutter our lives and focus on what matters. Moments like this are a gift from God. Don’t waste it trying to get back to normal.
Remember how sucked off normal was? Simplify your life. Focus on what matters and blame everything on COVID-19.