Mar 26, 2020

After The Storm Then What?


Well it’s been a quiet week…actually it wasn’t. It was a week of multiple conversations with my couples who are getting married this summer.

With the coronavirus taking its toll on life as we know it, over half of my couples opted to move their weddings to the end of the summer rather than just have a limited number of guests as “required” at this time.

The owners of one of the wedding venues at which I will officiate most of my weddings this summer have been dealing with at least five times as many as I have. Couples are frustrated as they try to find a balance between taking action and moving their wedding date so that all of their invited guests can attend…

Or do nothing and ride the storm out hoping that they will be able to have their wedding on the day planned.

Sunday morning church services changed their formats as online services became the new normal for almost every congregation.

All across the USA people were practicing being quarantined through a variety of ways: from self-imposed to mandated.

And so on and so on…

Life as we have known has ceased to exist. And similar to what we felt after 911, we once again wonder when the storm will be over and we can get back to how we normally do life.

Even though this storm will eventually be over; or at least that is what most of us believe, my concern has more to do with what happens AFTER the storm.

The question that I have been pondering today is what do we do when our freedoms are returned? What happens after the storm?

Freedoms like eating out in restaurants, or standing close enough to hug each other, or being able to sit together in the same building on a Sunday morning, or taking a trip to a grocery store and being able to purchase whatever it was that you can to the store to purchase…like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and tomatoes.

Freedoms like being able to walk into a local coffee shop, order coffee, and sit down instead of having to order online and then drive over to pick it up through a make-shift window.

We posted; “Remember” to remind us of those early days of 911 and the heroism and selflessness that followed. But after we got through the days and months following 911, we drifted back into life as we knew it; bad habits and all.

No longer did we remember when there was no traffic, advertising on TV, or people complaining.  We forgot when daily we heard the noise of fighter jets flying overhead…We had forgotten how to be grateful.

No longer were we united as a nation. No longer did you matter more than me. It didn’t take very long for us to once again forget the gratefulness we felt for that which we no longer had.

I have had numerous surgeries from the top of my head to the bottom of my soles. Some were repairs for injuries, some were total reconstruction, and others were for removing non-malignant tumors.

Each and every time required me to not be able to use part of my body for a season. Several of them meant that for a season I couldn’t use my hand and others had to tie my shoes, cut up my food, or put a straw in a cup of coffee in order for me to drink it.

One surgery required me to wear a cast for six months; THEN the therapy started teaching me to learn to walk again.

Several meant that I couldn’t drive, or play sports, or even work, or build, or play guitar, or paddle a kayak, or cook, or skate, or pick up my children or grandchildren. Some meant not having sex…

This past Christmas, my breathing was strained and difficult. On Christmas eve, I went to Urgent Care to get some prednisone and an inhaler just so that I could get a breath. It meant no hockey for two weeks.

But after the storm was over, and I wasn’t limited, I drifted back into life as I knew it; bad habits and all. No longer did you matter more than me. It didn’t take very long for me to once again forget the gratefulness I felt for that which I no longer had.

The question that I have been pondering today is what do we do when our freedoms are returned? What happens after the storm?

Do we really want to return to normal…where deep in our heart is the potential of “me vs you” when it comes to toilet paper?

Will I be grateful; will you?

It takes twenty-one days to make a habit. Perhaps one that we should all work on is being grateful. Perhaps now is the time to practice gratefulness and considering other people’s needs; not just our own.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-6)

“Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)

“in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

 

All Scripture Used is New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation