Anyone who has ever taken a road trip knows this question: are we there yet? Usually said in as whiny a tone as possible.
And yet, it is a question we really are asking ourselves right now: when will this be over? (Or as SpaceBalls would say, “When will then be now?”)
Though it may be soon, it is not going to be nearly as soon as many of us would like.
Major challenges still face us, our communities, our leaders. What is more, though science is working as fast as it can, there is still so much we do not know about this virus.
What we learn from scripture is that God almost always refuses to give us an expiration date for struggles. Even Christ said not to focus on the date of his return.
We also learn that children of God are loath to wait. They love grumbling. They whine and bicker and chide every chance they get. They blame everyone they can, regardless of guilt. Even when God provides what they need, it barely touches their mood.
People react when their world is turned upside down. It is stressful. It is trying. It throws us for a loop – or at times like now, for a loop-de-loop-de-loop.
But God never taught us to just sit still when life gets difficult. Even if we are intentionally keeping physical distance from others to save lives, that does not mean we should sit on our hands while we wait.
There are a myriad of things you can do – everything from hobbies to languages to enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. And beyond that, there are countless things you can do to serve God while we wait for our destination.
Help your neighbors. Ensure your friends and family can get their groceries and meds. Talk to local business owners and buy gift certificates for later. Use sidewalk chalk to spread a message of hope. Learn how to use technology and FaceTime or Zoom to make sure people know they are not alone. Send kind notes to long-lost friends. Buy gift cards to a coffee company or a spa for the healthcare workers in your life. Do the same for people serving on all the other “front-lines” of this pandemic – truck drivers, farmers, grocery workers, trade-craft workers, first responders, and everyone else who is keeping this place running right now. And this is not an exhaustive list.
If you feel ready to grumble, give yourself a minute and then get off your tuchus and do something with your time. Help someone out. Because we’re not there yet and we’ve already pulled this car over.
And always remember this: God is still here. Miracles still happen. And you will receive all the strength you need to get through this.