I don’t remember a time in my life where the future has been as uncertain. I’ve had many planning conversations with people where we’ve made some plans, and then I’ve said, “But who knows what life will look like in a couple of months?” At the time of this writing, the COVID-19 virus is spreading across the south and west of our country. What does that mean for the rest of the country? I don’t know. It’s difficult, though, because most of us usually live with some sort of plan for what will occur. We think, “I’ll do this at this time in the future.” Right now it’s really difficult to think that way because the path forward is unclear.

If we’re honest, though, our lives are always uncertain. There’s a famous quote from a John Lennon song where he says, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” We’ve always lived uncertain lives; it’s just that the present moment calls us into the uncertainty that’s always been there.

One thing we can do while we look into an uncertain future is focus on our constants. All of us have some things that are constant in our lives. We all have things that remain stable during turbulent times. For most of us, our relationships are constant. Our family and friends are there for us in all times. We’ve been talking about the beauty of creation in our worship, and God’s gift of the created world is a constant. Our faith is a constant, too. This is not the first time God’s people have faced an uncertain future, and it won’t be the last. Yet, we say, “God is walking with us into our future.” While the future is unsure, we can rely on these constant things.

Also, I’m trying to regularly share things we all can do to overcome racism. One thing we all can do is to be conscious of what we are teaching our children and kids in general about other races. When I reflected on what I was taught about different races when I was growing up in small town Missouri, I realized how much racism was part of my upbringing. It’s made me ask, “What am I teaching my child and other children about different races and backgrounds?” If we’re conscious of what we’re teaching our young people, then we’re no longer sowing the seeds of racism to future generations. It’s worth all of us asking, “What am I saying about other races that children are learning from me?”

Grace & peace,

Jason Jones