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We Will Wake Up to A New World

This plague will end. There will be more death and struggle along the way. Yes, it will change us, but it will end. And when it does, we will be different. In homes around America, families are connecting in ways that are new. My daughter is conducting homeschool for her three little ones that…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

This plague will end. There will be more death and struggle along the way. Yes, it will change us, but it will end. And when it does, we will be different.

In homes around America, families are connecting in ways that are new. My daughter is conducting homeschool for her three little ones that begins with devotions and exercises and moves into classes that they they all helped create. They draw, they read, they play in the backyard.

In Gainesville, our group of 24 college-age Global U students may be self-isolating as a group, but they are continuing to learn. Their day is a lot like my daughter’s homeschool.

They begin with worship, prayer, and Bible study. They exercise. Mentors call in daily and talk with them about how the world is changing and how to respond.

In a week, when they are certified virus free, they will begin to reach out to a world in pain and offer the hope of a Jesus who was wounded, but beat death. 

This virus has already completely changed my life. At Adventures In Missions, the organization I started 30 years ago, we learned of the danger, realized we needed to respond with urgency, and in one week, brought nearly 600 young people and leaders home from around the world.

Along the way, our courageous staff worked around the clock. When one airport would shut down, they would talk to the airlines about other routing options.

Knowing how traumatic the sudden change would be, our staff drove to airports to meet them and do the best job of debriefing them they could. And when even that became impossible, they scheduled Zoom calls.

At present, America doesn’t have enough virus tests and the world has no vaccine. The markets have crashed and panic is in the air. Whole countries are shut down. There is talk of another Great Depression.

But a new world is on the way. A world where people find entertainment in card games and puzzles and conversations instead of on their iphones. Where we learn to tend gardens again. 

We will learn to do church in our homes. The optionality and entitlement that has plagued our young people will be a thing of the past. We will have to reconnect with one another and ourselves.

So much will die along the way. But we will wake up. And when we do, we’ll discover that we are alive and the world is new.

This poem by Kitty O’Meara captures this so well:


And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened,

and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games,

and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened

more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.

Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.


And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in

ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began

to heal.


And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again,

they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new

images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they

had been healed.


Yes, we will wake up. And the world will be new. And we will be new in it.


Comments (18)

  • I agree with you about the changes. My great nephew was on one of your trips and it has really changed.

    I went on two Medical Mission trips in ’89 and ’90 (thru our church in Oklahoma) and it definitely changed my life.

    When the virus mess settles down I’m hoping to go on one or two trips a year of the ones you arrange.

    God Bless You

  • “The economic and marketing forces of society have engineered an environment . . . That maximize[s] consumption at the long-term cost of well-being.”

    “Fritz’s theory was that modern society has gravely disrupted the social bonds that have always characterized the human experience, and that disasters thrust people back into a more ancient, organic way of relating.”

    “In every upheaval we rediscover humanity and regain freedoms . . . We relearn some old truths about the connection between happiness, unselfishness, and the simplification of living.”

    All quotes from “Tribe” by Sebastian Junger.

    We learn, it changes for a while, but the fundamental equation we have looked at for far to long focused on “growth or returns at all cost.” Look at 9/11.

    It changed for a while… but then, it slowly crept back to the same place.

    I genuinely hope such moments force us to reconsider our values, and I do believe we can change for the better. The question is, will it stick and with whom?

    Will we stop sacrificing the little moments for a hypothetical future? Will we choose gratitude and appreciation for both little and much?

    We will see, my friend, if people will choose to see.

  • A beautiful, hopeful post.

    I can’t speak to long term change, but I DO know there tend to be three distinct times throughout life when a person’s heart is more organically open to the Gospel: marriage, birth, and when contemplating mortality.

    A lot of people are contemplating mortality right now.

    We live in New England, notoriously anti-God, and are having more opportunities than ever to share the Gospel in ways both big and small. My husband is still working (for which we’re thankful) and he’s taken to saying, “There’s never been a better time to evaluate your relationship with God.” It’s not falling flat. I know of one precious soul who has already come to faith as a direct result of this current crisis.

    Again, I can’t focus on the long-term because only the passing of time will reveal what God already knows.

    But I am hopeful that right now, there is much for a believer to do while also keeping the eyes of our hearts’ fixed on the horizon where our Blessed Hope shines in the distance.

  • Wonderful reading and thinking.

    It will be great if this period re-focuses us to better appreciate God’s provision each day and not take it for granted and to make our homes and neighborhoods the center point of lives instead of a place to scatter from each morning and try to reassemble to each evening.

    And if we all learned to produce even a little of our food we would be much better off.

  • Thank you Seth for sharing your heart and instilling hope, perspective, peace, and joy in us. Awaken people of God and experience His love in deeper ways! I declare with you that as this virus spreads across the globe, the love of God, which is way more infectious and powerful, will touch people’s hearts and awaken them and transform them. Let it be so on earth as it is in heaven 🙂

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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