About 15 years ago, John Piper was facing a horrible diagnosis of cancer. But instead of whining or fussing about the hard days to come, he wrote an amazing message entitled, “Don’t Waste Your Cancer.” If you have not read it, please go download it and absorb his incredible insights.
I mention his message because I think many of us are just trying to get through Covid. We just want to hang in there a few more weeks, or months until “we can get back to normal.”
But what if this (or something similar) is a new kind of normal. And what are we missing if we “just grin and bear it?” Holding our breath might work during a dive into the swimming pool, but trying to hold our breath while motoring through life just doesn’t work.
Are you familiar with the children’s book entitled, “The Magic Thread”? The gist of the fairy tale is that a little boy is given a magic ball by an old woman. That ball had some magic thread coming out from the center.
The old lady instructed the boy to pull just a little on the thread any time he came to a situation he would like to avoid. It helped him skip through time. Got a test on Friday, pull just a little thread on Thursday and you will skip the test and wake up to no school on Saturday.
Fall in love with the girl of your dreams, pull a little more and you both will quickly be of age and can get married. Young babies making life tough? Just pull a little of the thread and suddenly the infants are toddlers.
And so it went. Until one day the boy realized that he was an old man and had missed out on a lot of life’s experiences. Suddenly, he was given an opportunity to live his life over again without the magic thread and he jumped at the chance. He had come to realize that fast-forwarding your life causes you to miss some of the bad stuff but you also miss out on a bunch of the good stuff.
And then, there’s the tough stuff. It’s those challenging experiences that help us to learn and grow and become who we should be.
So, let’s all make a pact to not waste our Covid months. Let’s keep learning and growing. Let’s keep reaching out and comforting others. Let’s double down on our generosity. Let’s work on our patience and kindness. Let’s savor the moments we have with family and friends. Let’s not wish it all away.
Let’s just keep “trusting the Lord with all our hearts and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways, let’s acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
We don’t need any thread!