Thoughts from Quarantine: By Dean Marini
“About 15 years ago, a university I do work for asked my company for assistance in the construction and equipping of a television studio on campus. At that time, the proposed space was being used for storage. As we looked it over, I came across a dedication plaque from a building they had torn down…
We often see buildings, statues, bridges or other things, oftentimes named after someone, which are demolished for something “more modern.” Those newer structures are usually then named after someone entirely different. In fact, the TV studio my company made a generous donation to has already been replaced by a new science building.
I’ve been present at more than my fair share of dedication ceremonies. As the facility is dedicated, the ribbon is cut or the ceremonial shovel of dirt gets turned. There is an air of permanence. So often we think we are making indelible marks in the world, and yet even significant achievements are easily forgotten. The names on buildings meant to honor donors are quickly shortened to acronyms…and the story eventually relegated to dusty archives.
2 Corinthians 4:18 says; “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Hebrews 1:10 & 11 reads: “In the beginning, Lord, You laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment.” I hope one of the great lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is to set our priorities better. Maybe the emphasis on “essential jobs” for example, will help us refocus our values and see what is truly important. Likewise, and as I wrote in an earlier piece, who knew how important our mothers’ instructions to “wash our hands” would be? Similarly, we’ve all been struck lately by how critical front line workers in transportation, shipping, food service and grocery stores are. And I am delighted to see the new found respect truck drivers and delivery drivers are receiving. Are you as awestruck as I am by the fact that people are more aware of the minimum wage worker wiping down shopping cart handles than they are the CEO, actor, athlete or musician making millions of dollars a year?
1 Chronicles 29:15 tells us, “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” Because of that we should be following the advice of Matthew 6:20 to store up treasures in Heaven. If your retirement account is like mine, it’s worth far less right now than it was just 45 days ago. Another lesson to be learned is how fragile and temporal every part of human existence is. What we do for this life will pass away; what we do for the Kingdom of God will endure forever. The prayer offered for someone sick, food or money given to the homeless, a visit to a nursing home, or your testimony of God’s forgiveness and provision leading someone else to eternal salvation. Missionary C. T. Studd wrote; ‘Only one life, twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.‘”
Written by Dean Marini
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