How quickly things can change. A matter of days ago, I was watching Spring Training baseball games and anticipating the upcoming baseball season, the Players Championship in golf and the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament. Life was going on as usual, with my wife Tammy and I eating out, going to the movies, and watching the stock market hit new record highs every few days. We were looking forward to flying to Florida on March 17 for a conference. People were working as usual, and schools were approaching their Spring Break.
I had never heard the terms “social distancing” nor “flatten the curve”. I heard reports of a new virus that was devastating a city in China that I had never heard of, but never expected that it would – and so quickly – come to the United States and my own community. But in today’s connected world, a deadly virus can travel from China to California on one airline flight. And with it, all of a sudden restaurants and schools are closed, vacations are cancelled, people are working from home, churches have resorted to holding online services and toilet paper, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes have become the hottest items in town.
As I write this, a “stay at home” order has just gone into effect for my state of Illinois. You can still go to the grocery store, pharmacy, doctor’s office, and even get “take out” from your favorite restaurant. But the idea is that we are to stay home and avoid contact with others to stop the spread of the virus. With no sports to watch, and most everything on the 24-hour news networks having to do with the virus, what are we to do with this time that we have been given. Yes, I believe that we can look at this time as a gift. We can use this time to look at items of eternal significance. Continue reading