During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.
If you just joined Earth in the last few days or weeks, welcome to Earth 2020, the year of the asterisk.
Of all the ways to describe all that’s been happening, this seems like one of the most accurate.
It basically means that everything is open to change.
There is very little right now that is set in stone, fewer and fewer things that you can “take to the bank” (which you probably couldn’t do anyway unless it’s to the drive thru).
We have a bound scheduler that sits on our kitchen desk.
Each week I look at the various items that we had penciled in on it for sporting events or other activities.
Some have been actually crossed out but the others… well, do we even need to cross them out?
They’re cancelled, postponed, rescheduled, wait and see.
The only thing you can count on is that you’ve probably got a Zoom call some time this week… with someone who doesn’t understand the technology.
I can never remember a time when it was so difficult to even think of planning anything.
Ironically, in the past (you know, like two months ago), you might try to plan a get-together with someone and have to work around their schedule, their kids’ schedules and a myriad of other time-sucking items.
But now… when we actually have more time than we’ve ever had, seemingly… it’s hard to plan because we just don’t even know what tomorrow will look like.
Honestly, how far in advance can you even schedule something out and know that you’ll be able to do the thing you wanted to do?
Will there be fans at sporting events this summer? This fall? This year?
When will concerts happen again?
Will the cruise industry ever come back and what will it look like?
If your birthday is in June, will you be able to “go out” to celebrate? Will your favorite restaurant be open for business? Will anyone else be there?
There is a passage in the Bible that came to mind regarding this, in James chapter 4.
There, James talks about people who were confidently making plans without really knowing what would come their way.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” -James 4:13-15
It’s so true.
I’m certainly guilty of doing that most of my life. Making plans confidently without considering that life can change just like that.
I love the passage because it helps direct us to something “un-asterisked” in the middle of a fluid world.
For me, it’s helped me take a step back and refocus on what God would want me to do with my today.
How can I love better today, serve better today, give better today, put others first today.
And then if tomorrow comes, I get another day to do it again.
Maybe the best thing that can have an asterisk on it is us.
Maybe we’re the ones that need to be willing to change, to be open to something different in ourselves.
The way we think, what’s important in our lives, our goals and dreams.
Next time you write or sign your name, add an asterisk at the end.
And know that that asterisk means “subject to change”.
See you tomorrow.