Back to the Basics by Tony Brackemyre
It’s been pointed out many different times by many different people that since March, we’ve lost quite a bit. Things we really looked forward to – vacations, graduations, celebrations, annual events – were either cancelled altogether or drastically changed. Many of our students missed out on final competitions, commencement exercises, summer conferences, complete or partial sports seasons and many other things.
This season has caused us to adjust, to look at how we can do things differently. Words like zoom meeting, google hangout and virtual gatherings have become a normal part of our conversations. We are still learning and adapting and changing and adjusting.
This season has also done something else for us – it has caused us to get back to the basics. As we have been adjusting to our new normal, we’ve been reminded about what is important. In reflecting on these past few months a few things came to mind.
We were reminded again the value of meeting together. During the time we suspended our in-person gatherings, we looked forward to watching church online. We would gather first with our family and then we invited some friends to sit around our computer or TV to watch church. We desired that connection, that time spent singing together, studying God’s Word and sharing together in communion.
Who would have thought we would sit in our vehicles, tune our radios to the correct frequency so we could gather in our church parking lot for church? And then even sing along? Some with our windows rolled down?? While we couldn’t gather in our building, we were reminded again that meeting weekly with our church family was important to us.
We were also reminded of the value of our relationships. As we stayed at home and kept our social distance, it brought into sharper focus that truth that we were made to be in relationship with others. So, we set up Zoom meetings, we made phone calls to check on one another and we even sent cards in the mail. We checked on our neighbors and people asked how they could serve others.
In an effort to keep our students connected to God and to one another, we set up a few Bible reading plans through the YouVersion Bible app. It offers many Bible reading plans that you can do on your own or you can do with a group. We set up some of those plans and invited students to participate. It was so encouraging to see our students spend time reading God’s Word and then sharing how that scripture impacted them. We experienced engagement with one another and God’s Word. While we always have that opportunity, the past few months prodded us to be more purposeful to doing so.
During the summer months, a handful of our high school guys committed to do something pretty basic – we read through a book on our own and then met together to talk about what we read. Nothing fancy. Pretty basic. Read a book on Biblical principles for young men and talk about what that looks like in our lives. The first two meetings were on Zoom and then we had the chance to meet in person (keeping our social distance, of course). The win was not that we looked at God’s Word and tried to apply those principles to our lives.
Simply getting back to the basics. While this season we are in has taken things from us, it has also provided an opportunity to reflect on what is important – to see again that we value. We value relationships. While our church family isn’t perfect, we do like each other and value being together! We value God’s Word by spending time reading it . . . and trying to do what we read.
Colossians 2:6-7 says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”
As we continue through this season and adjust and adapt, may we also get back to the basics, to continue to walk in Him and root our lives in Him.