Everybody is getting a little tired of Covid. The news coming out of the federal government can be confusing and each state seems to have different criteria for who is eligible to receive the coveted vaccines. So far, Pfizer and Moderna have had their vaccines approved for distribution and word has it that Johnson & Johnson has a drug in the pipeline that will soon be approved for use as well.
I know a number of people in the healthcare industry and it seems like everyone has an opinion as to which vaccine is better; or has the least side effects. The administration of the vaccine requires that there are two injections. Pfizer’s vaccine is given with the second injection 19-23 days later. Moderna’s, on the other hand, is administered with the second injection 29-41 days later based on what we have been told. Most people seem to have some sort of reaction – especially on the second day after the second shot regardless of which vaccine is used.
Indiana, unlike most other states I am familiar with, goes strictly by age – after the healthcare professionals and first responders, of course. Special risk factors don’t really get into the matrix for consideration. It’s age – pure and simple. So… when the vaccines first became available, those 80 and older were in the first group. Then, after a suitable period of time for them to sign up had passed, people 70+ were invited to set up appointments to receive the vaccine.
That was several weeks ago and we really didn’t have any idea when the next group would be invited. Well, it turns out that those over 65 were able to apply for appointments as of Monday morning. I found out about it by accident and when I heard the news, I went inside and set up two computers side by side. That way, Janet and I could each go through the process and set up appointments that would hopefully be at the same location with similar times.
It was all working well. There was a 20 minute wait in the “waiting room” before being transferred to the registration site. Janet’s appointed time and location were confirmed but as I hit submit for mine, I was thrown off the website!!! In fact, I later found out that all of us seniors trying to get a time crashed the entire site. So here we were – Janet is good to go with her appointment and I have to start the process over again. I tried the phone but it was jammed with callers and it was clear that trying to secure an appointment that way was a waste of time.
I decided to grin and just try the website again. When I got to the online “waiting room”, the screen let me know that the wait time to make an appointment was 20508 minutes – that’s right – 20508 minutes – or almost 342 hours – or, put another way, 14.25 days – that’s a shade more than 2 weeks!!! In the waiting room – waiting to make an appointment. I started working on other stuff and decided to see what would happen.
About 90 minutes later, I was invited to make an appointment. And, praise God, I was able to get scheduled for next Tuesday. Not bad… Janet is scheduled for next Monday. We actually drove to the location that we have chosen – just to make a trial run and to see if we could get our shots at the same time rather than come on two separate days. The people running the location were very kind, but rules are rules and the best they could promise was that I was welcome to join Janet and Monday and they would see if they had extra vaccine that day.
We will then return about a month later for the second injection. We were very surprised that we were able to get in so quickly. Many people we know had to wait a month or more earlier in the process so we are very grateful that so many appointments opened up Monday.
The point of all this is that life passes us by faster than we think. It really wasn’t 20508 minutes before it was my turn – rather, less than 2 hours. And that’s just one example. Many times in our lives we don’t take advantage of opportunities because we don’t want to take the time. We just think things will take too long to accomplish so we don’t invest the time. As a result, we miss the opportunities that we would otherwise enjoy. And it’s a shame when we grow so tired of things that we no longer live life to the fullest.
Jesus wants us to live our lives to the fullest – and remember, time really doesn’t have any limitations in eternity. The apostle John tells us the words of Jesus Himself in our verse for tonight. We are told, in John 10:10, “The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” (CEB)
My encouragement this evening is that we should all take time to consider the things that we want or need to live an abundant life. My prayer is that while we are currently restrained from doing many of the things that we would like to experience, we will eventually be through this pandemic and once again be able to live life to the fullest – just as Jesus desires. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…