There’s lots of lovely black and white birds around our local parks. “Which one of them is a magpie, which one a peewee, and which one a butcher bird?” I wondered.

One of the nice things about the COVID lockdown has been developing a renewed appreciation for God’s creation. Marveling at magpies and peewees then led me to think more broadly about what positives might come out of this pandemic.

Here are four lessons from COVID that might help us better deal with the even greater problem of our day – climate change and it’s threat to God’s magnificent creation.

  1. A new appreciation of science and facts: We can’t see a virus. So we’ve needed to listen to the virologists and epidemiologists. As a global community, we’ve largely been willing to undergo enormous changes in our lifestyles, because the scientists told us it was important to ‘flatten the curve’. Some countries did not listen quickly enough and we’re seeing the dramatic results of that now. Will our newfound appreciation for science and facts in Australia flow into listening to the climate scientists who have been trying to tell us flatten our ‘carbon curve’?A question on which to reflect: “When COVID is over, will I continue to seek out and value what scientists advise, or go back to gleaning information from Facebook and Twitter?”
  2. Slowing the pace of life and re-learning what’s important: Under COVID, while some have struggled with loneliness or loss, some have also found a rekindled enjoyment of the simple things in life: reading, music, time with family. Instead of shopping and countless other activities, we’ve read a book, dusted off the guitar, phoned a friend, or spent a little more time in prayer. And as we’ve done so, most of us have felt good doing it.A question on which to reflect: “When COVID is over, will I continue to live life at a calmer pace, in which there’s time for nature, music, family, friends, and God, or go back to frenetically consuming and squeezing in as many activities as possible?”
  3. Learning to do things locally: Under COVID, we’ve learnt to shop, exercise and even work locally. That’s saved a lot of carbon! And as we’ve done that, we’ve often found that our neighbourhood is not a bad place after all! A question on which to reflect: “When COVID is over, will I continue to do some work, recreation and holidays closer to home, or will I jump back in the car and on the plane to go to that next meeting or holiday?”
  4. Appreciating nature: Under COVID, many of us have spent more time in our local parks marveling at nature. If that love of God’s creation persists, might we be more willing to speak out to prevent the loss of many species of birds, insects and plants taking place under climate change?

A question on which to reflect: When COVID is over, will I continue to appreciate real nature, or go back to watching the world on a screen?”

I’d urge us all to reflect on these questions now, before the restrictions lift fully. Our collective answers may determine whether we can make the world a better place for us, and for God’s Creation, as we emerge from COVID-19.