Facemasks. Hand washing. At risk. Social distancing. Travel bans. Toilet paper. Church canceled.
Strange times. I eye the baby carrots and hummus sitting on my desk. Tempting. But I should probably go and wash my hands before I even touch the bag. Last I heard, there were only 18 cases reported in the state, and none yet here in my town, but one can’t be too careful. I glance up with concern as my coworker sneezes into his elbow, gives a sniffle, and keeps typing. One definitely can’t be too careful.
That seems to be the mentality these days. Hands are washed extra long and extra times. Toilet paper and hand sanitizer are stocked in homes to be available for months, maybe even years to come. Friends and neighbors joke about greetings that maintain the 6’ distance requirement. Caution is lathered into every personal interaction. The air is filled with uncertainty. What social restrictions will the government place on us next? How will this affect our economy? When will our church be able to meet again? Will one of my friends or loved ones get the virus? Will I get it? Will I survive...?
In the middle of all the outside chaos and subtle underlying inner feeling of unsettledness, I’ve noticed two things about myself. The sense of uncertainty has cast a light on where my hope has been placed. “If I get the virus, I’ll be fine! I’m young and healthy, no need to overreact!” But, again, one can’t be too careful. So as I drove over to my local grocery store and found myself in the medicine aisle, I was horrified to find myself reaching for JUST ONE MORE bottle of cough medicine. Why?! It’s not like I was going to be having it with my cereal in the mornings. But it was becauseit, (along with my health and youth) could save me. Maybe one more bottle ofit could make a difference! ...but what about the Lord? What credit was I giving Him...really?
My second observation had to do with the surplus of time that rather quickly dropped into my lap. Church and all church activities have been canceled until further notice. That combined with people’s varying levels of social distancing suddenly had my weekly schedule become wide open...and I had plans! All kinds of plans for all kinds of things! Reading books, watching shows and movies, cleaning, cooking that recipe I’ve wanted to try, catching up with friends… but what about the Lord? Sure, I had planned for some extra time to read my Bible, but how much extra time was I giving Him...really?