The phrase to take for granted means to consider something true without requiring proof. In other words, to take something as true, before it has been granted. I think in the current crisis we are all finding out there are many things we assume to be true before they actually are.
First and foremost is life. We assume it will be others who get this disease, not us. Not someone we love. We forget the numbers are actual people like us who were healthy one day and sick the next. When I had cancer, I learned that life is a gift. Every breath. Taking it for granted is a huge mistake and to the point we do, it will be one of the biggest regrets we have.
What if, you are one of the ones who gets sick? If you left your house today never to return, what would you realize you had considered to be true without proof?
Maybe your family? The people around us who love us, despite our flaws, are golden. More valuable than we realize in the day to day. The beauty in quarantine reflections is they shine a spotlight on what is truly important. That family of yours, who is driving you crazy cooped up in the house with you, they are your people. The ones you would miss if the unthinkable happened.
What if, you never saw them again?
Another thing we take for granted is our jobs. Income is how we provide ourselves with the lifestyle we live. Minus a paycheck, we find out just how vulnerable we are. It is scary after taking our jobs for granted to find ourselves without a source of money. We become desperate very quickly. We think employment will come back once things return to normal, but we have no proof of that.
What if, this current unemployment situation turns into a depression-era magnitude type crisis? What if, we finally recognize food and shelter as the luxuries they are?
Gatherings. Community. Friendships. All of these are things we think will always be available to us. Church meetings, concerts, restaurants, birthdays, weddings, funerals even, all are events we have assumed will happen before they actually do. We take our calendars for granted, as if the time we use belongs to us.
What if, time stopped? What if, the activities we cherish never happened?
And what of faith? We don’t have to assume, we know it is true. We know God is on the throne, that he loves us, that he is for us. Or do we? When all the form is stripped away, the sermons, the music, the order of service, the committee meetings, the Sunday school classes, the prayer sessions, the picnics and potlucks, the fellowship times, and the services, what is left?
What if, God is all we had? Is he enough?
I don’t mean to throw water on our already saturated lives, but it is worth thinking about the things we assume will always be true, because they might not. Taking stock is hard and painful and kind of scary, but we have the time now, it has been provided to us.
What if, everything is stripped away? What if things never return to ‘normal’? What then?
Generations before us had similar choices to make. Generations after us will have their own crisis to navigate. Here we sit in our own awakening. It is our time. Will we wake up? Or will we fall back asleep as soon as the crisis passes? It is up to us to decide.
What if, we find gratefulness?
What if, we remember kindness and compassion?
What if, we appreciate what we have?
What if, we express love to those around us?
What if, we become a better world?
What if, we take our health more seriously?
What if, we use this time to grow?
What if, we stop assuming things will happen before they do?
What if, we no longer take things for granted?
What if, we find out that when everything else is stripped away, God IS enough?
What if, we learned to forgive?
What if, we start new…with new hope, new ideas, new faith, new ways of interacting, and new compassion?
What if, we use this crisis as a reset button?
Isaiah 43:19 19 Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming, do you not see it? I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.