COVID-19 Musings From A Vineyard Pastor

Lucas Grainger, Pastor of the Coastal Vineyard, examines our desire to return to "normal" during the pandemic, in this poetic reflection.


Lucas Grainger

Pastor, Coastal Vineyard Church (Supply, NC)



We have heard it time and time again.
We have thought about it.
We have dreamed about.
Normal.
.
I can’t wait to get back to normal.
.
A meal at your favorite restaurant.
A date night with your spouse.
A ball game with friends.
You know… normal.
.
Sunday morning with your church family.
The awkward hand shake with the weird dude at the front door.
The text message that that your kid just ate all the other kid’s snacks in class.
Normal.
.
Maybe for the first time in a long time.
Maybe even the first time ever!
We long for normal.
Sounds good. But let’s get real.
.
For a lot of us, normal was 90 mph an hour in a 45 mph zone and I’m not talking about our driving.
I’m talking about our marriages, our ministries, our time with friends and family.
Everything became a rush, a hurry, a need to move onto the next thing.
A scramble to get it all done. Then do it all again.
A constant cycle of hurry.
.
But what if normal isn’t the goal in all of this?
For some of us. A lot of us.
Normal just wasn’t working.
.
We were so hyped up on all the “hurry” that we went to the ball games but missed truly special moments.
We went out on the date but never really connected.
We listened to the music, but never really worshiped.
This is what we want to get back too?
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In times of disruption often the first thing that we abandon is vision.
We no longer dream about all the wonderful possibilities that the future holds.
No, we abandoned that dream for a new one, one of just surviving.
I just want to get through this thing.
I just want it to be over already.
.
Hey, I get it. No judgement here.
I’ve been there more times than I can count.
The holding on for dear life and just hope that you come out the other side.
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If we are not careful in this abandonment we can miss a few things.
We can miss the fact that no matter how things look.
No matter how things appear on the surface we serve a God who is above it all, and He always makes a way.
He causes water to rush from rocks in deserts.
He gives sight to the blind, turns water into wine, and empties graves.
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It’s hard to remember all this when the desert is dry, the wine has run out, and cross is still dripping with the blood of the days crucifixion.
It’s hard to have vision when we are just trying to survive.
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Yet, it’s is still there, knocking on the door ever so softly.
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The secret to hearing it?
Slow down, calm down, and still yourself long enough to hear it, to see it.
Eliminate the hurry that we have long been addicted too.
Don’t settle for getting back to normal.
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So as we reopen our churches, our businesses.
As we go back to haircuts, sporting events, nights out, and worship services.
May we not abandon the vision, but rather the normal.
And get back to walking with God in the cool of the day.
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It’s this strange feeling.
In the midst of this social distancing, we find that the space between us and the rest of humanity is far greater than six feet.
.
We long to be close.
So does God.
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“For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.” (Habakkuk 2:3)

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Lucas Grainger is the Pastor of the Coastal Vineyard Church in Supply, NC.