It is almost hard to believe that today we “celebrate” exactly one year of COVID-19 lock down in its various stages, from hard lock down level 5 to level 1, then level 3 again … and now back to level 1. Who knows what the president and his command council will resort to for the Easter Weekend?
All the emotions, all the anger, all the fear … many have lost their businesses, many lost their employment … many lost their vehicles and accommodation. Maybe the most tragic of all has been those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. Jenny lost a cousin … so did I. A very close friend lost his wife … and I am certain that there are those who read the Daily Note who too have lost loved ones or friends due to this “killer virus” that knows no boundaries and seems to re-raise its head every now and then.
North America, the United Kingdom, Italy and other first world countries have been hit the hardest. Each time a country feels it is making headway, the virus strikes again relentlessly. Maybe the vaccine for those who choose to take it might stem the tide … but who knows? In our continent, and specifically in our country, progress is slow because of the demand across the planet for the vaccine.
Then there are those super spreader events where people travel from town to town and province to province, carrying the virus with them. I asked a caregiver recently at a retirement facility whether they had had any Covid cases. She said “no” … but said a lady living there needed to go to hospital for a procedure. She returned to her room and needed go back to hospital a few days later. There she contracted COVID-19 and died in hospital. One can never be too cautious, but at times, exposure is totally out of one’s control. One can never be too cautious … because this virus is a killer. As my friend who lost his wife to Covid said: “I hate Covid, it took my wife.”
So, today is 365 days of Lock Down. To me this year has sped past … was it like this for you too? What did you do when you were at home? Were you busy or were you just wishing the days to pass? In our case, God has been good to us. Our health has been quite good. We have worked rather hard throughout the year. In my case it has been gardening, maintenance, housework, cooking and most importantly, writing the Daily Notes, preparing messages and Bible Studies, making online sermons, preaching … and over the last few weeks I have been visiting a few people each week. I cannot say my year has been dull … on the contrary, I have been very busy … even taking a few funerals and two weddings … so I have to say, March 27, 2020 to March 26, 2021 has flown. God created us with the ability to work.
Ge 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Part of the creation ordinance was that man work … that he be productive, not just to care for his surroundings and produce food, but to bring glory to God through the world of work. Often, Christians can be caught up in the world’s philosophy of work. It’s climb the corporate ladder, make money, be secure financially. Often this demands cutting family time, church time, ministry time and relaxation time. In the process one tends to become less friendly, less loving and less available to those areas of life that need to you the most.
Where are the days when we lived a modest lifestyle that enabled us to spend good chunks of time with the family and where are the days when we could attend church twice on the Lord’s Day, Bible Study every week and participate in a prayer meeting? Where are the days when we have time to do a mid-week ministry of some sort … be it knocking on doors, visiting the sick, running a one on one study, taking a youth group, doing church property maintenance, etc.?
And here is the strange thing in all this … working longer hours and earning more money has not resulted in better tithing. Not only does the church lose your physical presence and your gifts and abilities as you work harder and longer … it does not benefit because of your extra income. What has happened?
As the world has progressed in technology, Christians have fallen into the “secular” trap. We want the latest “smart TV’s”, laptops, cellphones, furniture, vehicles, houses, clothing … and yes … we need these things, but not the latest and best! Too often, we sell our souls for the world and secularism becomes our new god.
Right here, we rationalize our need for the latest and best. This soothes our conscience and removes guilty feelings because we need to pay the bond, the car, the clothing account … not forgetting those five different credit cards that need to be paid. We get to the point where we reason … “I have to work like this to pay all these bills” … but we never admit that all those bills were personal choices. No one forced us into debt! And the things that ought to matter most such as the spouse, family, church (presence, time and money) and ministry suffer.
Is this condition because we have ordered our priorities incorrectly? Have we forced God off the top spot … and removed the spouse from second place and our family from third place … only to install work in the prime spot … and that prime spot tends to dictate every other position on the priority list! Because we are Christian and have Gospel morals does not mean we have the right to change the value of each position on the priority list.
Maybe it is time for us as God’s people to revisit that list and reorganize it God’s way, even if it means changing our lifestyle! Let’s put God first and keep Him there. Then let’s have our husband or wife in second place and meaningfully keep them there, followed by the children, church and ministry and then work. This might change the level you live at but it will give you joy and happiness in all of life because God will direct all your activities correctly.
Dear God, please forgive me for ordering my life according to my selfish and worldly desires. Deliver me from the “god of secularism” and mercifully help me to prioritize You first followed by my family, for Jesus sake. Amen.