Here we are amid a new world for most of us. I have never had an experience quite like what is gripping the United States, the world and every aspect of our society. I went out for groceries today and was surprised to see so few people out and about. People were keeping their distance from others, there was no panic buying or anything else, just a smaller than “normal” shopping crowd. Some items were lacking on the shelves, there were signs on some products limiting the quantity that could be had. I purchased more than normal today, but only enough to limit my excursions to the store. Not stockpiling, but getting a bit of lots of things.
In every other aspect than this, there is dramatic change in daily life. On my street people who normally are at work, are home. People who normally are in and out multiple times a day have not left there houses in days. We have not been able to attend church on Sundays, go to prayer meetings, bible studies in the same way as we have been accustomed. Watching our Sunday worship service and Wednesday bible study on Facebook. My wife’s ladies group is meeting weekly on “Zoom”, and our monthly men’s breakfast will meet on Saturday via this same platform. It won’t be quite the same without the food, but we will still reach out and encourage each other. Our grandsons sports activities are suspended, so there has been no racing from one event to the next or deciding which event to attend.
In some ways it is an easier way of life. We (my wife and I) just need to figure out what we will be doing to keep ourselves occupied. She just finished the quilt she has been working on. I have figured out how to work within some new software and was able to totally update my web site. I am now looking to learn how to create apps using the Swift programming within Apples Xcode. Not because I need to, but because I would like to learn how and now that I have the time to do so. It is a fun exercise and keeps my brain functioning.
I am sure that what I am experiencing is repeated millions of times across the country and the world. However, I also think that there are people out there who are panicked by this virus, and are struggling with daily life. I am comforted in not having a sense of fear. Oh, I am taking precautions, going out into the world less and making sure that I practice “Social Distancing”, avoid touching surfaces in stores, washing my hands and all of the things we are told to observe. But I am not panicking.
Many are panicking because their place of employment is closed. Many are panicked because they know if they will have everything that they need in their homes to get thru the next few weeks or months. Most are feeling desperate because they have not planned ahead. They do not have any money set aside to cover this time. I am not judging them, it is just a fact. We have lived very comfortably here in the United States and saving is not encouraged. We live in a “gotta have” society. Gotta have a new phone, car, house, or whatever. Some are panicked over toilet paper! Some are looking to the government to fix this for them. The government has a role to play, but it should not be our lifeline through every downturn in our lives. We need to be prepared for the future. What will you do when this pandemic passes? Will you plan better for the future, or pick up where you were a few weeks ago?
So here are some suggestions on how to prepare.
Financially – Begin putting aside money every payday. Put some aside, no matter how little. Keep doing this until you have around 6 months of expenses in an emergency fund.
Essentials – Keep your pantry full of the essentials. I am not talking about hoarding, just enough to get you past that shortage in the stores.
Spiritually – Most importantly prepare for eternity. How will you do that? Get right with God. No matter what you believe, if it is not fully aligned with God’s plan, you have the assurance of spending eternity in hell. You need to have a relationship with God, by accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord. What does that mean? I am not going to go into detail about that, but rather direct you to a page on my website where you can learn about it. Go to www.bwwds.com/salvation.html You will find an explanation and other helpful information there.
If you have avoided going to church, this is an ideal time, as many churches have taken their worship services online. You can find many options on Facebook and YouTube. Just find one that teaches directly from the Bible and does not bring man’s ideas in front of God’s word and plan.