Here we are, 365-plus days later. The year 2020 was filled with many ups, downs, and loop de loops around. While social distancing and quarantine became part of my daily vocabulary, it also opened my eyes to the need for fellowship, but above all my time with God.
In the beginning of it all, it was really hard to feel grounded. I was told that worship is wherever I'm with God. However, it was really hard for me to completely believe in it. Watching old rerun worship sessions and Pastor with a green screen did not feel the same as experiencing it all at church. It became really easy to feel less motivated to put any effort at all. It was as if just listening to the Sunday message was enough for me.
During my time at home, I started to utilize technology more and more to keep in touch with my friends and family. One day, I had a conversation with my cousin about my relationship with God. He was at a point in his life where he questioned his need for faith. Throughout the conversation, he questioned me about why I chose to have faith in God. He asked me that with all the disastrous things going on, how could I believe that God was watching over me and how could I give credit to God for all the good that was happening and all the bad events that were prevented. He told me that because I was raised as a Christian, this lifestyle was all I knew and I would not know any better.
His questions forced me to think about my faith. We were raised in similar atmospheres and shared the same faith. It is true that I did not experience the world in the same way that he did, but I did not think that mattered. The hard part about it all was that I was at a loss for words when he confronted me about my faith. For every answer that I gave him, he came back at me with four more questions and called my answers a “cop-out” (an avoidance of an actual answer). I reached out to my parents, sister, friends, and even Sunday school teachers. They all relatively gave the same answers that I had given him.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I could not let this pandemic-induced social isolation be an excuse for why I had become less motivated in my relationship with God. With all my years of faith and in church, I knew there was so much that I needed to learn. I talked with my sister and friends, and we saw this as an opportunity to grow together. We decided to call each other and take some time off to do a Bible Study together, reading and learning from the word of God.
In this way, I was not only able to find a solid ground for me to stand on, but also got a piece of the fellowship that I lost to the pandemic. It is true that at one point I used the pandemic as an excuse to strengthen my faith and relationship with God. However, by doing so, I lost myself more to this world than I had before.
We define worship as “in all that we do, we praise and adore God through it”. How do we do that if we are just stuck at home following the same routine day in and day out? Well, we listen to what God puts on our hearts. We may not be together during this time, but that is not an excuse to let ourselves fall into darkness. We are of the same church; we are all children of God. He has a plan for each and every one of us. It will be hard to see what it is that He has for us if we choose to fall away from a relationship with Him.