Class is in Session

March 31, 2020

One of the things I continually mention to our kids and to the staff is this: Class is always in session. What I mean by that statement is that in every situation and circumstance there is something to learn. Some people just get through hard times; other people learn and grow and come out better, stronger, and well-equipped.

The COVID-19 crisis is definitely a major opportunity to learn. Some people will come through very well, some not so much. Learning comes from embracing the questions and concerns that arise and dealing with them. Two major realizations have really shaken the foundations for most people during this time:

I am not in control. Historians and psychologists say the angst and fear in this situation exceeds that of 9-11. Why? Because when we were attacked by a military enemy, as terrifying and anxiety producing as it was, we still had a sense of control. The United States is the most powerful nation in the world. We use our military power, we fight back, and we win.

The virus is different. It’s unseen, untrackable. Military might means nothing; this enemy is not one we have the means to fight. There is no track record. We have no control, and that’s what makes this so hard. But if we can learn the lesson that control is just an illusion, and make trust in God the default setting of our lives, we can have peace. Class is in session. Learn the lesson.

I am going to die. We are sheltering at home, isolating, sanitizing, and praying. We are doing everything we can to stay alive and help others do so. The thing is more people have died in car accidents and from other causes during this terrible virus period than from the virus. But until and unless there is a crisis of this magnitude, we rarely think about death. We go about life as if we will live forever. Most of us will come through the coronavirus physically just fine, but we still are going to die, some time. And it may happen without warning. Here’s the lesson: We should be living every day with concern and clarity, as if we knew it was our last, because one day it will be.

I don’t believe for a minute that God caused the virus. We have lived in a fallen, broken world since the Garden of Eden, and things progressively spiraled out of control. Disease, death, sin—all of them became common place. God in His mercy and grace, however, has chosen to use the moments and times in our fractured world to get our attention and draw close to us. That’s the lesson. We are going to die, and we need to be ready for that whenever it comes so that we can live this life in peace and hope and live forever after.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

That’s the lesson. Class is in session.