All of us have experience with firsts, and today is no exception as America sails through the uncharted waters of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Some experiences are more memorable than others, some we would give anything to experience again, and others we wish we could forget. Think back to that first day of school, or maybe your first car, the first date with your significant someone, or even the moment when you first came to know the Lord. Time spent reminiscing will surely stir-up emotions and thoughts of those memorable moments.
Many of us now find ourselves with a newfound surplus of time due to the shelter-in-place directives from our local and statewide officials. This gives us ample and unique opportunities to recall those special moments and share them with our families. The lessons learned from those firsts and the uniqueness of our own personal stories surrounding those events can be of great benefit to those around us. As a parent of two newly licensed teenage drivers, I have even found myself sharing with my daughters those times when I first learned to drive and all of the firsts that brought in to my life. We laugh about the mistakes and lessons I learned and also look to apply those experiences to what they are currently learning as we build together their first driving experiences.
Finding yourself with an abundance of free time or down time can be unheard of in our fast-paced, always-on society. The challenge becomes how to use this time wisely and be creative when it comes to developing positive firsts for ourselves and our family. Some suggestions might be to begin a Bible reading plan, maybe one that will put you on the path to reading the entire Bible from cover to cover for the very first time. Something I like to do is spend time studying my loved ones. I ask them a hundred questions that might for the first time allow me to learn things I did not know about them. You might be amazed by the things you learn about those whom you are the closest to.
However, for many of us, going through a quarantine, being directed to “stay in place” at your home, having offices and business closed for an unforeseeable future, or even spending days on end with your family without break can all seem like negative firsts. For others, this might be a time when the thought of death for themselves or a close loved one is hitting them particularly hard and can be very overwhelming. Others are wrestling with the uncertainty of the future.
There are times when we must be intentional to create new firsts—even those that seem super simple and not very impactful. Recently, my family has begun taking advantage of new services such as grocery pickup at the local supermarket. This allows us to save time by not going through the store to select all of our grocery items, and we also can avoid contact with others during the current pandemic we are facing. We also have re-engaged at the dinner table. This is an amazing opportunity the Lord has given us to share the details of our daily lives and to share in the lives of our children. Questions typically arise regarding things we see in the news surrounding current events. The coronavirus is obviously a common option. Situations we see in our friend’s lives or the circumstances other families at our church are going through are also very typical.
Whether your first experiences are positive, negative, or a combination of both (like mine), remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Be purposeful, regardless of the circumstances, to trust and follow Christ as he leads you into many new firsts.
*Chris Kinman is Director of ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History.
A Time for Firsts Amid COVID-19
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