The prophets of doom are predicting that things will never be the same again. We will never travel overseas, the economy won’t rebound and we will never trust each other to shake hands. Meanwhile, some politicians and business people glibly promise that communities and markets will return to normal within a month and all this fear and disease will go away.
The truth is that things will be different going forward. Life will be different, because life is always different. To live on earth is extraordinary, but it is never static. The earth is spinning at about 460 metres per second. Meanwhile our planet is orbiting around the sun at a speed of about 100,000 km per hour. In addition, our solar system (earth and all) is whirling around the centre of our galaxy at about 780,000 km per hour. The galaxies in our neighbourhood are rushing around at about 1000 km per second. At times we might convince ourselves that we are standing still, but that is simply not true.
In life, we often commit to Plan A. We are certain that if we follow our Plan A, our lives will produce our dream. Plan A will deliver. Plan A is what we need. Plan A quickly becomes our only hope. Suddenly, Plan A stumbles, wobbles or crashes. There is very real grief when it disappears. Grief, however, does not need to lead to despair.
Fortunately, there is Plan B. Sometimes, before we know it, we are on to Plan C, D or even P. George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilisation famously said about such plans, “Praise God for a big alphabet!” Verwer knew that often things happen on Plan Y, that could never have happened on Plan A. The human spirit is stronger than we imagine. Sometimes we even get a glimpse that the perfect Plan A actually had a few flaws and design weaknesses. In time we learn to enjoy the unexpected, adapt to the unplanned, grow from hardship and embrace the future with all its uncertainty.
We can, we must and we will.
For those of faith there is comfort that we are not alone. The old book talks about a God who never changes, whose love never fades and whose strength led our ancestors through the darkest of days.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want, Psalm 23:1