In February of 2010, Chile suffered an earthquake. measured at 8,2-8.8. The damage was extensive. Pam and I were on furlough but I was able to travel to Chile within two weeks with some funds from the International relief fund to provide assistance to some churches we worked with. Within two weeks, people were working at getting back to normal but there was a lot of work to be done. I was amazed at something I witnessed at a local grocery store. When things were normal, the store had a deli section that also had prepared lunches that people could purchase and eat at home or at work. It was a big seller with office workers. However, after the earthquake, the store was doing well to have some items for sale while it had many bare shelves. I had trouble believing my ears when I heard a young man berating a store employee because there were no prepared lunches to purchase. His complaint was that prepared lunches were a normal item at the store and they were providing poor service by discontinuing them. The employee was trying to explain they were doing well just having the doors open with some items for sale. I thought that the angry man either did not understand the magnitude the earthquake had on Chilean infrastructure or he wanted to return to normal so badly that it caused him to be unreasonable.
Getting back to how things were is an understandable desire for anyone who has dealt with upheaval in their lives. We are dealing with that at this point. However, I wonder if in our desire to return to what we call normal, we are living with blinders similar to the ones the young man in the store I just mentioned wore.
Whenever our boys would go through a set back, a challenge, or suffer some consequence for a bad decision, we would ask "what have we learned?" Our philosophy was, and remains, that even the worst things can teach us something and that lesson can serve us for the future. Because of this perspective, we often were awed by the thick necked behavior of people we read of in the Old Testament and in the Book of Revelation that seemed incapable of learning from what they had either gone through or going through at the moment. I would read and say to myself, "how could they miss what God was communicating?". As I look around and read posts about returning to normal, laments of how the changes in the last two months have affected our lives, differing views on how things should have been handled. I could not help but ask myself "what have we learned?"
Is it possible that God is saying something to us through the current pandemic and we are so focused on returning to what we perceive as "normal" that we completely missed HIs message?
Food for thought.
Have a blessed Tuesday thinking and learning