If anything, this past year has given us time to think. Most of us have had extra time because there were so many things we were not allowed to do. For many months, our churches were closed, meetings cancelled, recreational facilities and other places we may have gone no longer available. Of course, some families were met with increased scheduling and chaos trying ot figure out work schedules and child care for kids who were not in school. The circumstances varied for each individual and family.
But, now as we look back, how did we handle this massive interruption to our lives? Did we become more fearful or more cynical? Did we become followers of the daily trend or opponents of most everything we heard. Was trust given or withdrawn? Is it the right time to return to normal?
I was told a story about an elderly man who had spent most of the past year alone. He may have visited a bit with family but due to being elderly and frail, he had avoided going out in public and seeing many people. Now that the Coronavirus vaccine is available, he looked forward to being vaccinated and finally be able to go out and see friends again. Sadly, he became ill and died. He had spent most of the past year alone and now did not get to enjoy time doing what he loved with those he loved. It is a sad story indeed to think that someone's last year of life was basically missed. Unfortunately, this story is the case with many others who weren't even given the choice to see loved ones because of restrictions in nursing homes and travel.
The Parable of the Rich Fool came to mind.
Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest.
He asked himself, ‘What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?’
And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods
and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”
But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’
Thus will it be for the one who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God.” Luke 12: 16-21
The Rich Man believing he was "set" for a long time, accumulated large amounts of grain and other goods. He felt confident that he had all he needed to live a long time with no worries. It was the right time to sit back and finally enjoy life. What he did not know was that his time on earth was coming to a close. He would soon face his judgment.
With great sadness, many who died in this past year did not get to use their time left how they wanted. Of course, everyone must use their own best judgment as to what is safe. I am judging no one's decision. We must not test our Lord with foolish risks but we must also trust our Lord with our lives, especially our eternal lives.
As we move forward from the pandemic, do not neglect the health of your soul. Be mindful of these bodies we have here on earth as they will be our glorified bodies in heaven some day. Provide for your time here safely but more importantly prepare for your time in eternity with hope and trust in the Almighty God.