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Reassessing Our Priorities

As we are still faced with the devastation of COVID-19, it has given us the opportunity to reassess our priorities.  All of us have been impacted in one way or another.  Countless people have been diagnosed with this illness, some severe and some who were tested and found their case is mild, and many lives have been lost.  The impact upon our economy has resulted in thousands upon thousands becoming unemployed.  This matter of social distancing, some may call it physical, depending on the terminology you use, has impacted our relationship with family and friends. Many of us are spending more time at home than we have ever done before.  We have been forced to change our lifestyle, and at the same time, it has put what is really important into focus.  Each day we live is a blessing from God.

I would argue strongly that the things we view to be important are not as important anymore.  The Word of God says, “All things work together for good for them that love the Lord.”  Make no mistake about it, this COVID-19 is not good, but something good can still come out of it.  Focus upon family as a priority, quality time at home, expressing our love to one another, and taking the time to forgive so we can appreciate the gift of forgiveness are good.  The material blessings that were a priority have now moved down on the list.  Our concern about our fashion and designer clothes, and our ability to change our wardrobe everyday, has been replaced by jeans and PJ’s.  We have learned some hard lessons and we continue to learn about life, about God, about our family and the value of friends.  Those who have a preconditioned illness have not been able to see their physician, and yet we have learned to live, in some cases, with pain. 

For many, worship at church was occasional.  We were satisfied with going once in a while, but how we now long to make it to the house of God so we might offer Him our praises. Those who ignored the church are longing for the church doors to open again.  My grandmother used to say, “You never miss the water until the well runs dry.”  The blessing truly comes with the knowledge and faith that God is present in the midst of all we are going through, and He is there waiting for us to turn to Him.  This is no time for us to retreat and go back into the world which the Lord saved us from, but it is a time for us to draw nearer to Him and find the strength we need to get through. 

This coronavirus will pass, but the question is, what did we learn from it?  Have we grown stronger in our walk with God?  Have we come to appreciate the gift of life?  Has it really changed our priorities where we spend our time and resources?  Prayerfully, we have had the time to take inventory of our lives and thank God for every trial He has brought us through. Our worship will be real, authentic and true, and we will give Him praise for the rest of our lives.  Our love for our family will be enriched, we will gain a willingness to share our gifts with others, and we will help the countless people who are in need.  No longer do we need selfies of ourselves, but our focus will be upon others: to help those who are homeless, shut in or incarcerated, and move beyond the barriers that separate us along racial, religious and economic lines.  We want to see people as God sees us.  We want to be concerned about the least, the lost, and the lonely, and to make every day count. 

I cannot speak for anyone other than myself, but this virus changed my life completely and I know I am more indebted to God than I have ever been.  I am going to use the rest of my life to give Him praise, remembering, only what you do for Christ will last.  May this experience open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds, that we can truly be the people of God He has called us to be.

Pastor Charles W. Quann

As written for the Philadelphia Tribune April article