God just loves to shake us up when we are in a rut. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are in one when He comes around and stirs it all up – enter the pandemic known as COVID. We had been in the same rut for years upon years. Going to the grocery store daily to for dinner ingredients, eating out more than we should, shopping as a hobby, not taking our freedom of in-person church seriously, and thinking of school as a babysitter are just a few of the ruts I would say the majority of us were in. The pandemic turned all these things, and more on their ear, and I have to say I am not sorry it happened. Yes, I am ready for it to go away now (aren’t we all?), but I have taken away some vital lessons during this time.
Cherish Being Able to Go to Church in Person
This is probably the top of my list. Nothing can replace the feeling of worshipping with other like-minded people. The Internet cannot replace it, although I am thankful we could stay somewhat connected using it. Not seeing your church family for months on end can be very divisive and can set you up for feeling alone, too. On the other side of the coin is going back to church wearing a mask and not hugging, touching, or comforting someone who needs it. It takes away from the purpose of the church, even though I understand the reasoning.
Pandemic Freedom AKA Life Without a Mask
Geez, I hate wearing a mask. I don’t know what it is about that piece of fabric on my face that instantly makes me start sweating and feeling short of breath. I am wearing it in public places, but I can’t see myself ever getting “used” to it. My daughter (who has worn hers to school) has assured me I will get used to it, but she told me the other day she ditches it after 4th Block, so I think her assurance is fading.
Being Able to Enjoy a Restaurant
Restaurants are back open after the pandemic restrictions, but the act of wearing a mask into the building dulls the enjoyment for me. I feel like I can see the germs swirling all around, and wearing a mask into the restaurant doesn’t really keep me safe when I have to take the mask off to eat. I look forward to the day when I can see everyone’s smile and enjoy my cheese dip thoroughly.
Valuing Teachers and Schools
I have long valued teachers and schools. One reason is that I know I am not made for homeschooling, and after the eight years I spent working at a school, it was reinforced. Schools are not free babysitters, which is what many people have realized after spending time with their own children trying to teach them. I can tell this from teacher’s comments regarding students who signed up for online learning and have been changed to in-person learning, not even two weeks into the school year.
Planning and Buying Ahead
I have always purchased groceries for a 2-week block of time, but many others didn’t. Instead, they would decide what they wanted for supper and stop by the store on the way home from work to get the ingredients. While this worked before the pandemic, if you work from home or on a stay at home order, this doesn’t work quite as well. Some moved more to the takeout and delivery method, but others learned how to plan meals to go to the store less frequently.
I hope that we all realize that time is precious, whether it is at church, with family, or saving time by planning, and that we begin to value service providers (like teachers and schools) who work with us and our families. If we can come out of this pandemic with a better understanding of ourselves and how others pour into our lives and that of our children, we will be winners in the long run. What have you learned? Please comment and share with us!
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