Nothing Taken for Granted

Please note: This is NOT a political post. It is NOT a take sides post. It is simply an observation post. Please comment accordingly or scroll on by.

No doubt these past nearly ten months have been a rollercoaster of emotions. Negativity permeates almost everywhere we look. Division in families and friendships is at an all-time high. School students wonder if their academic lives will ever get back to normal. Civil unrest, and worse, is constantly in the news and on social media threads. Civility and understanding have taken a backseat to yelling, name-calling, and, sometimes, physical harm. Yep, you don’t have to look far to see all of the negative results of the mess COVID-19 ushered in.


But I don’t want to dwell on the negative today. I am worn out and tired. Tired of the sadness. Tired of the despondency. Tired of that rotten half-empty glass.


As I sat socially distanced in church today, it felt as though my vision changed. Because of the restrictions placed on us, our chapels, churches, and places of worship were shuttered. Before that, I took church attendance for granted, sometimes even grumbling about having to go. I’ll not take worshiping freely with fellow believers for granted again.


Because of the shutdowns, socializing was minimized, even forbidden in some cases. I didn’t realize how wonderful it was to freely gather, shake hands, give hugs, greet with a kiss, and share a table in a restaurant with more than five or six people. I took those things for granted, never imagining they might ever be taken away. I’ll not take socializing, in all it’s forms, for granted again.


Because of the shutdown, extracurricular activities and events were canceled. Concerts, school sports, pageants, plays, and so many other things were also canceled. Like many others, I had gotten used to the busyness and rat race that pulled people from their homes, their dinner tables, and the everyday life of being a family. One woman I spoke with the other day commented on how much she realized she missed her kids when things were “normal.” I’ll not take precious family time for granted again.


Because of the shutdowns, gathering together in groups has been discouraged. But people are social beings who need to gather. With the ability to physically gather squashed, they found opportunities to gather in different ways. Many groups were started on social media. Some of them are religious in nature, some are not. But what they all have in common is offering people a place to gather. Prayers are sought, understanding is asked for, and personal victories are shared. Before COVID-19, I viewed social media as a great way to waste time, and to quickly glance through the pages of friends. I now see it as a way of gathering together for a common cause of supporting brothers and sisters of all religions, races, nationalities, and beliefs all over the world. I’ll not take the blessing of gathering for granted again.


Because of the shutdown, masks for the general population were mandated. Opinions about the wearing of masks are fervent on either side. Before the mandates, I took for granted the blessing of a smile from a stranger, watching people’s mouths as they speak, and wearing lipstick. I’ll not take smiles for granted again.


I hear many who long to get back to normal. But I do not want “to get back to ‘normal’.” That normal is what got us to where we are today. I want to move forward with hope and faith in the future. I want to move forward with gratitude for what I have. I want to move forward without taking so many precious things for granted. I want to drink from that glorious half-full glass.

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