A year ago, it was difficult to find masks, hand sanitizer, or antibacterial wipes in stores. A couple weeks ago, I walked into one of the very stores in which I’d tried to find some of those items, and they had so much available, they were trying to get rid of it: Buy 2, Get 2. Then I was at work, and my coaster wasn’t soaking up the condensation from my cup quickly enough, so I looked around for something extra to put under it. An extra mask I’d left in my desk did the trick. Oh, I still keep one with me. In fact, I think I’ll keep my supply bag in the car for quite a while. It doesn’t take up much room, so why not? It’s not just about COVID. There are plenty of situations in which hand sanitizer and wipes come in handy. And I’ll wear a mask at times. I want to be respectful and considerate of others, and I want to be wise.
But what a difference a year makes.
We’re not in the same place. We’ve learned a lot, and we’ll continue to learn (I hope). A lot was exposed in the past year, and it wasn’t all good, but we can grow from it if we’re willing. We can strengthen relationships and get better at our communication skills. We can acknowledge other people’s perspectives and show compassion. We can share truth and be humble enough to know we don’t have all the answers. We can heal the hurts from the past year and acknowledge some will limp along longer than others. We are not stuck, but we aren’t without effects of the past year. We didn’t simply hit the pause button, then press play to continue. A lot of living happened in the past year. It just looked a lot differently than we would have anticipated. We need to acknowledge a lot of dying happened in the past year, too, and not just physically. Consider,
- What did you lose?
- What did you gain?
- What pressures seemed stifling?
- What pressures released a bit?
- What lessons will you carry forward?
- What are you excited to leave behind?
- Have your concerns expanded as you’ve learned to consider others?
- Have your concerns tightened to protect yourself and your comforts?
- How can you help relationships in this next season of life?
During some seasons of life, what we think we need is hard to find. During other seasons, there is an abundance. Let’s appreciate what’s available in our lives right now and grow into the next season.