By Rebecca Milner
For some, slowing down to ponder life more deeply may sound like a giant waste. Who wants to silently self-examine their priorities and values when that time could be “better” spent checking items off of busy to-do lists? Then, Coronavirus came along. Longer hours at home. Closer quarters. Shorter checklists. Overnight, many were forced into more contemplative states.
Have the last couple of months been inconvenient? Sure. And many of us are ready for some form of “normal” again. However, we would be amiss if we didn’t also acknowledge the valuable opportunity for introspection that has come with this inconvenient time.
Here are four things that Coronavirus has taught me (or at least reminded me). I’m sure you can relate. Hopefully, we will carry these lessons with us well into the future.
1. We’re not in control.
Pre-pandemic, we knew this. But did we really know this? Well, it’s safe to say that we probably do now. Pervasive chaos seems commonplace these days. The only thing that feels certain is our inability to know what’s coming or to figure things out for ourselves.
Thankfully, we can know the one who is in control. Our future may be unknown to us, but it isn’t to God. And the best part? He tells us not to worry or be anxious, even in the unknown (Philippians 4:6-7).
Check out our post, “Uncertainty Ahead: How To Trust God When You’d Rather Know What’s Coming,” from Pastor Keith Simon to read more.
2. Our anxiety runs deeper than our circumstances.
Busy schedules can numb us. “I’m only anxious because I’m constantly on the go. Right?” Well, Coronavirus would say “wrong.” Everything closes, events are canceled, and even job responsibilities come to a screeching halt. Yet somehow, we still struggle with overwhelming anxiety. This hints at something more: “We don’t feel anxious because we have a lot to get done. We feel anxious because of some deeper issues in our hearts.”
3. The Church is a people, not a building.
Leading worship to a bunch of empty seats isn’t ideal. In fact, it’s heartbreaking. My first Sunday on stage during all of this was extremely emotional. I was actively fighting the lump in my throat while looking into a camera and asking people at home to worship with our team. I was standing in church, missing my church.
And yet, I will forever be thankful for the visual that gave me: I’ve never felt so tangibly that the Church isn’t simply a building; it’s the people who fill it. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus told Peter, “On this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That includes you, Corona. The mission of God’s church is much bigger than a virus and this pandemic has further proven that it cannot be stopped.
4. We’re built for real relationships.
Zoom, Facebook, and live streaming services are all blessings that many of us are immensely grateful for in this time. However, staring at screens for weeks on end has likely awakened many of us to our inherent need for physical connection and in-person relationships.
Hebrews 10:25 says that we “should not neglect meeting together” for the good of our souls. Being a part of community is the way God wired us all to function. We need each other. COVID-19 has successfully revived within many of us our hunger for real connection. It’s a reminder that we need it more than ever in today’s largely impersonal, digital age. And hopefully, when we’re gathered together again, we won’t take our relationships for granted so easily.