What We Took for Granted

The coronavirus changed things.

It doesn’t matter how you feel about it or whether you disagree with how it’s being handled. It changed things, and it changed them fast.

Think back to the beginning of this year, when COVID-19 was just beginning to emerge as a news item from China. What did life look like just a few short months ago?

We weren’t standing six feet away from everyone. We weren’t arguing the pros and cons of wearing masks in public. We weren’t being advised to stagger our trips to the grocery store. We weren’t wondering if there’d be any toilet paper left when we got there. We weren’t dealing with the impact of lockdowns and quarantines on our jobs and our routines. We weren’t trying to figure out what services were closed (and for how long).

Oh, and we were going to church.

Remember church? Remember that thing we did every seven days? The thing that reconnected us with our brethren? The thing that fed us spiritually and physically? The thing that we did even if we were tired and really just wanted to relax at home after a long week? The thing that we all assumed would just be there waiting for us forever, week after week?

It’s been 11 weeks since I was in a room with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Eleven weeks. Almost three months. We missed assembling for two holy days and Passover. Passover! One of the most singularly meaningful evenings in the year, and we weren’t able to come together for it.

This isn’t an opinion piece on how we should be handling the coronavirus. I don’t think I know enough to weigh in on that, although quite a few of my Facebook friends seem to believe they do. Here’s what I do know:

The things we take for granted… aren’t.

They can change. They can disappear. And they can do it overnight.

I miss my brethren. I miss them a lot. But even they aren’t the point of this article today—because there’s another thing in our lives that’s very, very easy to take for granted:

The truth.

God’s truth. The truth we’ve been given; the truth we can see only because God opened our eyes to the pages of His Word. COVID-19 can’t take that from us, thankfully—but there’s a danger to thinking of it as our untouchable possession.

The five foolish virgins looked at it that way. They had their lamps, they had their oil, but when the time came to use it, they didn’t have as much as they thought. They hadn’t been tending to it. They assumed it would always be there, only to find their supply seriously lacking when they needed it most. Immediately after that parable, Jesus told another about a servant who buried his talent in the ground—only to discover that it, too, was not enough.

What about us?

We don’t grow in grace and knowledge by taking God’s truth for granted. We have to engage with it. Study it. Meditate on it. Live it.

Having it isn’t enough. Oil that isn’t replenished will burn itself out. A fortune buried in the ground gains no interest. The Word of God is a precious resource, but when spending time with it starts falling down our list of priorities, its influence in our lives can disappear quicker than a sense of normalcy in a pandemic.

There’s a sea of disagreement out there about COVID-19—how bad it is, how we should be handling it, what we have a right to be doing. I don’t expect that to change anytime soon, but the global impact of the coronavirus ought to leave us with at least one lesson we can all agree on:

There is a danger in taking the most important things for granted.

None of us can afford to do that.

Until next time,

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