In February, before Kenya had any closures or restrictions, our oldest, highly-insightful son said, “The world is going to be a totally different place by the end of this year.” My response was loaded with agitation: “What do you mean, the end of this year? What do you mean, ‘totally different?’” I was thinking in terms of weeks (or maybe a couple months) of closed schools and churches and other minor adjustments—not life-altering challenges. So much for my thinking!Then when COVID hit in Kenya, realizing that many routines would be put on pause, I nurtured grandiose imaginations about how to make use of this magical uninterrupted time. Get all the backlog of work done. Have lots of time to read. Hand-write personal greeting cards to our entire mailing list, write books, learn to play guitar . . . climb Mt. Everest(!?). Well, those haven’t happened, either. Wrong again.
Even now, 5 months in, I wonder if we are thinking about all this correctly. Are we finally settling down to realize that COVID-19 is pushing us into a new era of history? “B.C.” might unofficially start to mean “Before Covid” (and A.C. “After Covid?”). What the world of “A.C.” will look like remains, for the most part, unseen.
It reminds me of the words from baseball player Yogi Berra: “It’s tough to make predictions—especially about the future.”
Predictions aside. They will probably be wrong anyway. At this point, I just want God to have His way. In me. In His body. In the world.
The English Standard Version of this common text is great: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom for the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand” (Proverbs 19:20-21).