Generally speaking I don’t like change. I think I like the idea of change, but I’m not even convinced I completely believe that. Obviously over the past couple weeks a lot has changed in everybody’s day-to-day life. I have to say I can’t complain much, everyone in my family is healthy at the moment and we haven’t lost any income. However things have still changed.
Jill and I switch off taking Lily back to her room for bedtime. We do stuff as a family before, but only one of us takes her back to her room and actually puts her to bed. We each typically sing songs to her but we have our own songs we sing. Jill sings the Disney Princess songs and a few lullabies that her mom sang to her when she was young. I on the other hand have taken the opportunity to expose Lily to some absolute gems of songs such as, “No Depression” by Uncle Tupelo, “Pecan Pie” by Golden Smog, “I’d Rather Have Jesus” by George Beverly Shea, “Toast” by Heywood Banks and Lily’s favorite “A Bear in the Woods ate my Underwear” by Josh Lovelace, who is the keyboardist in NEEDTOBREATHE.
I recently added another song to the mix, mainly because I thought it was funny, “It’s the End of the World as We Know It” by R.E.M. I can’t sing the verses, I’m not even sure I could do it correctly with the lyrics in front of me. The more I’ve sang it the more I’ve thought about what all is, and may continue, to change in our world, not just for the next several weeks or months, but forever.
Let me take a moment here to say that I know people are hurting right now. I know people have lost their jobs. Every day more and more people have gotten really sick and some of them are dying. Some people have had to shut down their small businesses. If those things aren’t true for you, I imagine you know someone, or will know someone, who has been affected in one of those ways. All of this change seems bad, because it is.
However, as a result of all of this we are going to change the way we do things as a society after the pandemic is over. Whether that is how we physically interact with people, how we use the internet and other technology to do business, school and even church, things will change.
While the possibility of no more handshakes and trying to stay 6 feet away from people at all times seems kind of crazy it is also doesn’t really matter that much. I want us to take a moment and think about the ways we can use this situation to intentionally change the way we do things now and use this unique opportunity as a catalyst to change those things beyond the pandemic.
For families that are now spending way more time together than you potentially ever have, I hope you have seen some benefit from spending more time together whether that is around the dinner table, doing homeschool stuff or playing games. I know there are times when the opposite seems true and you want to get as far away form them as you can, but I think most families would agree that somewhere along the way their schedules got too full. You may not know exactly when that happened, but you know that you had too much on your plate and it isn’t always easy to back out of a commitment once you get into it. So I hope as we get back into the post pandemic life that you can make an effort to protect some time during the week that is just for your family.
For those of you that have taken advantage of some extra free time and lack of sports and other distractions to grow deeper in your relationship with Jesus by doing some devotionals on You Version, or watching some material on RightNow Media or just reading your Bible more, good for you! I hope that is something you continue to make time for beyond these weeks or months or however much time we have left.
For those of you who have gone out of your way to connect with people, whether it’s a family member, someone from your small group, a friend who lives far away, just because you want connection, I hope you keep it up. For the last couple of weeks I have been on a zoom call with about 10 of my best friends from college who are all working in a church somewhere. We have been sharing ideas, encouraging each other, and just connecting. We have already said we want to continue to do this weekly and I hope you can as well.
It is the end of the world as we know it, but maybe that’s a good thing. We are in the middle of such a unique, strange, unfortunate and pivotal moment in time where we have the chance to reimagine what we want our relationships with God, our families and our friends to look like. Use this as an opportunity to change the way you spend your time investing in those relationships. This can be a positive and beneficial time for all of us; we just have to approach it that way.