If you are at all familiar with Dave Ramsey, you’ll understand my next statement with ease. Tim and I have “done stupid” more times than we can count. Financially speaking, it’s been a long road of learning how to steward our resources wisely.
We’ve put ourselves on many budget freezes, made oaths to each other that we wouldn’t eat out, and for a while, I even ventured into the craziness of price matching. Everyone in our family jokingly uses the phrase in our best Texas accent, “beans and rice, and rice and beans,” but we’ve never actually eaten only rice and beans for dinner.
When the news began trickling in about the COVID-19 from China, I was mildly alarmed. My heart went out to the Chinese people who were unable to receive life-saving medical care. And then, I heard that two cases were reported here in the United States. My concern increased, and I began paying closer attention to the news. Still, I had no idea that we’d be facing a complete pandemic.
Two Saturdays ago, I was still pretty calm about the whole situation until I read a post in a local Facebook group. It said that people were in a line, wrapped around Costco waiting to buy their supplies. Around the same post, I read there was a run on toilet paper; I had to read that post twice. So, instead of my typical calm Saturday morning routine, I put some on clothes some and headed to the grocery store just in case all of the hype was real.
When I pulled into our Fry’s parking lot, I was shocked. I could hardly find a spot, and I scarcely got a shopping cart. When I walked into the store, the panic on people’s faces unnerved me. The store was completely picked over. Interestingly, the fruit and vegetables were still well-stocked, but almost all the other shelves were bare.
I had the whole beans and rice mantra going through my head, but rice and beans had left the building. There was no pasta, and 90% of the canned goods were gone. I am pretty sure I saw SPAM there, but, no thank you. I was in such a daze that I forgot to even check for toilet paper, but I am quite sure it, too, was gone. It was then, as I checked out at the counter that I realized that this thing is real.
Getting Back to the Basics
Tim and I talked about it in length and immediately began implementing changes. Again, another spending freeze, limiting fast-food, and no new projects. Thankfully, our canned goods and beans were well stocked, because well, we never eat them.
We, for the most part, are staying at home. For the next few days, we are purposing not to make a quick run to the grocery store or any other errand. We’ve decided that we’ll make do with what we have and as much as it depends on us, try to stay healthy.
Our family needed a reset. We needed to get back to the basics with things like our grocery budget, our time, and even the kind of food we serve at home. More importantly, it’s been a good time to pull back the curtain and reexamine our priorities.
The greatest travesty, second to death, would be arriving at the other side of this pandemic unchanged. Much like Edmund, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, was lured in to eat the enchanted Turkish delight, so are we captivated with comfort and ease. They slowly lull us to sleep, our affections for the Lord diminish, and complacency reigns.
When we lost Justin, I learned that life indeed is like a vapor. Justin had no idea that his life would end on July 15, 2017, at 20-years-old. Moses wrote,
“Whether we have another 50 days or another 50 years on this earth, let us not waste this life. In the blink of an eye, the Scripture tells us that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:10)
In this sobering time, let us draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.