A time like now


My husband and I are going to the doctor together this morning. I’m actually home on study leave, but both of us currently bark more than all the dogs combined.

Fortunately, in this situation, where both of us feel quite faded, we have an advantage: only one of us is a man, so there is at least one of us who, despite the ugliness, can still carry on quite okay and not both of us who miserably curling up in bed while we await fate.

My husband rolled his eyes and said: “Yes-yes”. Even though he is a self-confessed sufferer of the man-flu phenomenon, he didn’t want to laugh at my joke.

It’s actually at least horrible to feel so gross. One wants so much to be full of energy and to be able to do things: to be able to exercise, to be able to walk, to be able to work and have a nice chat with the children and your partner at the end of the day. But then it feels like some kind of thunder cloud is hanging over your head and is sucking the life out of you – or maybe I’m exaggerating? The fact is, being sick remains a bitterly unpleasant experience.

Thank goodness for medication, doctors and pharmacists… This thought takes me back to the opening of a meeting I attended about two weeks ago. I believe the speaker, Hannes No√ęth, will forgive me for not quoting him directly, but explaining broadly.

The theme that I took away from there, or that really resonated with me, was that you and I were made for a time like now: the circumstances, political climate, challenges and even technological advances and changes. We are built for now.

Can you imagine on an oxcart? I wonder if I would have survived one winter… this chest of mine, which actually hasn’t tightened in years, might not have lasted too long without my chronic medication, nor could I have ventured a day trip on horseback for the necessary (limited) medical don’t care

I am grateful I live in now. Besides accessible and convenient medical care, there are so many other things about this time that I love. I love being able to put together a scrapbook of my life on a platform and share it with my loved ones, and being connected through social media to so many people I care about but don’t get to see often.

It’s nice to be able to watch my child’s hockey game on YouTube because I can’t necessarily attend it in person that particular day. I am grateful for camping holidays with electricity and freezers and newspapers that I can read on my smartphone.

But these comforts and things are not all that this time brings us. Every age has its challenges and responsibility. It reminds me a lot of my vocation – the reason why God created me and placed me in this particular time.

I feel that we each have a life task that has been imposed on us and for which God has equipped us and therefore deliberately placed us in our environment and time. Every piece of me and you is so meticulously put together to overcome any challenge. And it’s so simple: “Here I am, Lord, use me”.

I feel very philosophical today – it feels like I can take a step back and get a more global view of my life and the life around me. I can see the puzzle pieces fitting together so beautifully… falling into each other so clearly.

One can easily romanticize history, or become belligerent or patriotic or even wax lyrical about battles and events. But it really wasn’t my time. A wet oxcart and children dying of measles, or a concentration camp full of hungry and sick people and your husband and sons so far away…

Today we fight and build in a different way, in a pioneering time of many new things and new beginnings. Everyone does it with their own skills to be able to tackle and overcome the challenges of the time: some hold school, others make us healthy, there are those who keep us safe or who maintain our environments and make them beautiful and livable again.

It’s something to marvel at – this plan, this time, these people.

For now, I (we) are going to focus on getting healthy, and then we will take our place again and lay the bricks in the places where we are assigned. This lifetime needs each of us; after all, we were created for now!