As I’m lying here at 5 a.m. and contemplating just getting up for the day at this early hour after not sleeping for the last hour, I’m thinking about all the good things in life.

This was in direct response to a dream that woke me up. I was somewhere in Texas stuck at the bottom of a sand pit with high walls of sand. The walls had been formed by some moisture and stood tall around me. There was one way out but only at about four feet in height. I’m not a very high jumper, so that was ruled out. Then I thought I could dig my way out, but the last way I wanted to leave this earth was to be buried in sand. The walls were pretty solid, but they were still made of sand.

I suppose the dream represented how I’m feeling right now, maybe how many of us have been feeling. I don’t know how the dream ended because I woke up before I could crawl out.

I thought about how real life echoes images and situations in your dreams. Though I don’t know how the dream would have ended, there are certain things I’m sure of that we’ll all end up learning when this pandemic ends.

We’re all getting schooled on our priorities, and this thing is teaching us to spend time with loved ones, quality time and not just quantity time.

We will start to see goodness in humanity – providing food and other supplies to those in need and making phone calls to their elderly family and friends to make sure they know it’s not the end of the world, though it may feel like it while they’re in isolation.

People will also be supporting businesses who have suffered due to the mandatory closure.

We might even take better care of ourselves with better hand washing, eating and taking supplements that boosts our immunity. We’ve all been contemplating whether we have COVID-19 and whether or not we need to check ourselves into the CDC. But we’re told to stay home and take care of ourselves unless we are gravely ill. Maybe this will make us think twice before we go into the doctor when this is all over. Maybe this will help drive healthcare costs down for all of us.

We might get to know our family a bit better.

We will be forced to spend time with our children, both school-aged and college-aged, and even possibly be forced to appreciate a sometimes unappreciated teaching profession. Maybe the kids have been home with us for a week now, and we’ve seen what they do and part of what their teachers have to do. Though we really don’t see the full picture of what goes into teaching – the lesson prep and the classroom and behavior management that happens everyday with 25 or more children in a room together. We also don’t see the differentiating in instruction to meet the needs of the varied learners in the class.

There are many things we don’t see that the teacher does, but now we are starting to see it.

We even may be less quick to blame our child’s teacher when we’re not happy with something.

We might have a better appreciation for our leaders. They are making decisions we would 

never want to make.

This pandemic might teach us to get out into nature more. State parks are open. There’s been no ban on going outside, and spring is just around the corner.

We’re at a time better than at any point in history where it’s technologically possible to weather this storm together remotely.

So while we’re all in this together, in the pits so to speak, there are lessons we’ll all take from this and likely become a better society because of the hardships. Without hardships, we don’t grow.

I am reminded of these encouraging words from Scripture and that God reminds us that we don’t have to be “down in the pits.”

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” - Romans 15:3

Traci LeBrun is the editor of the Messenger.

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