A Bible seminar student, who later became a sister, once told me that she was so impressed with how Christadelphians always said “Lord willing” when making plans for the future. To her, it was a unique way for people to look at life and making plans. We ought not to assume anything. The future is in God’s hands.
I reflect on this as we near the end of the first full week of social distancing and the general shutdown of our western society. One by one, many of our plans and activities began slipping through our fingers. Ecclesial events – cancelled. Entertainment and recreational events – postponed. Even errands we once thought as necessary are now closely scrutinized. Our normal rhythms and structure have been disrupted and we don’t know for how long.
To use an extreme comparison, during World War ll, our English brethren were exposed to lethal air attacks by the German Luftwaffe. Brothers and sisters were not fully spared by the Blitz and a number fell asleep. From one of the air raid shelters, a brother penned these words, which were later published in Meditations in the Christadelphian Magazine in 1945. His spiritual conclusion is helpful for us today.
“One realizes amidst the shriek of bombs and the crash of falling buildings how uncertain is the tenure of human life: one also appreciates, as never before, how great is the measure of Divine mercy and protection which has preserved that life from destruction. The words of the prophet ring with an intensity born of deep emotion: “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”
It’s concerning to me that I fall too often into the trap of not recognizing that each day is “Lord willing.” This experience is a reminder to me of the frailty of life, that all flesh is grass. The society we live in usually insolates us from serious public health risks. It happens “over there”, not here. I develop a false sense of control. Nothing is seen that can disrupt my plans.
This has become a time of self-reflection. All the “clutter” from our personal agenda has been jettisoned and many of us have retreated to what is the very core of our lives – our faith and families. None of us spend the time we aspire with either. This terrible virus has given us a gift. We can now pause and re-assess. We can Identify the things in life that matter most and throw out all the parasitic pursuits that keep us from them.
May this threat generate a greater reliance on our Lord in our community. When we say, “Lord willing”, let’s mean it.
– Dave Jennings, Verdugo Hills, CA