Pandemic gives us new perspective on life

Most of us are familiar with a passage of Scripture found in James 4:13-15. Perhaps recent circumstances in our world have caused us to hear these words from a slightly different perspective. See if you agree.

“And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, ‘Today — at the latest, tomorrow — we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.’ You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, ‘If the master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.’” — James 4:13-15 (MSG)

Haven’t we all had a few of our plans disappear recently? My daughter and son-in-law had to cancel a recent spring break trip to Disney World. Of course, they were sad about having to cancel the trip. It disappointed the kids, and as grandparents, my wife and I also felt bad they were unable to enjoy this trip.

In the shadow of COVID-19, all of us have some stories of things that were important to us, but they still disappeared. We have had big plans, little plans, family plans, personal plans, work plans, day-to-day plans that have been swept away.

In the past, most of us read these verses and passed by them rather lightly. Now, we realize just how applicable James’ words are to all of us. Perhaps we are gaining a new perspective on life.

It is good to have goals. We should make plans. But it is never wise for us to leave God out of the plan. Maybe that is where some of us have been living. James said, “You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.”

We have been living in a place that none of us could have imagined just a few weeks ago. If we are not careful, we go through life with little to no consideration for the God who made us. We give no thought to the brevity of life or God’s plan for us today.

Whenever I talk to people who are facing a personal struggle or some kind of tragedy, I try to encourage them to ask some simple questions like “Lord, what is the lesson you have me learn from this experience? What are you saying to me?”

May I ask, what have you been learning through this pandemic? Will your life be different as a result of this experience? What will be different and for how long? How has COVID-19 changed your perspective?

Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at or email him at stev[email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].