day 8

How’s everyone doing? Today was a day of firsts for a lot of people in Southwest Missouri. Because many of us were on Spring Break last week, today many kids began schooling at home. Based on what I saw on Facebook and in my own house, there were decidedly mixed results. I’m not going to call it homeschooling. I know what homeschooling is. I’ve seen homeschooling. Whatever I did with my kids today was not it. We’ll get the hang of it eventually. We’re all learning how to do new things, or rather, old things in new ways. I’ve always loved our teachers. I wouldn’t trade our school system for anything. When I saw teacher parades driving through our city honking and waving at their students…I’m not too proud to say that I cried a little. Today made me appreciate our teachers even more.

Today was also a day of going back to work – whatever that looks like – for a lot of people. When I wasn’t yelling at my kids to “read a stinking book or something,” my day was filled with virtual meetings and hastily redesigning courses. As I sit here tonight, I’m so thankful to have a job where I can work from home. My heart breaks for those who only wish that they could work from home.

Here’s my thought for the day. It is pure speculation mixed with a dash of hope. I love the show American Pickers on the History Channel. It’s like my TV comfort food. The show travels with two guys as they crisscross the country trying to find hidden antique gems among other people’s junk. It is common on the show that they will dig through the remnants of a collection of stuff that had been hoarded and preserved by a grandparent who had lived through the Great Depression. I’ve heard it said of many people who grew up in those times that they just hated to throw anything away. They knew what it was to live in want, so they came to appreciate their stuff. This experience turned them into thrifty savers and re-purposers.

It made me wonder. We are going through such an unprecedented time. You don’t go through traumatic change without it leaving some sort of scar, especially if that trauma unfolds slowly over a period of time. We are living right now through a season of relational want. Screen time habits that were already shaping us have gone into hyper-drive. Some have said that our experience with screens is having such an effect that when this is over, we won’t be willing to go back to the way things were. This time is making us fall further in love with our screens. I think that’s wrong. At least I’m hoping that’s wrong. My theory/hope is that this generation will become jealous for relationships the way that the Great Depression generation became jealous for stuff. Will we hug more after this is done? Hopefully. Will we visit our friends more often instead of wasting an evening on the couch? That would be awesome. Will we make going to church a habit? Will we sit down at a restaurant instead of eating in the car? Will our grand-kids accuse us of being too clingy? We would be so lucky.

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