The real virus
There's this virus going around, sweeping the nation by storm-- it doesn't distinguish between young and old, pagan or saint. It pretty much takes us all down in some form or another.
By now you are thinking about our "beloved" novel SARS2 Corona Virus (COVID 19). And that's interesting and all, but I am thinking about something else. I am thinking of a virus that is actually more of a "contagion of thought" more than an infection of flesh and blood.
These past few weeks, I've been trying quantify what is going on with very little success. I have watched people flip back and forth between being completely confused, scared, ambivalent, to hyper vigilant, OCD, and self righteous.. and right back to confused--where they start the cycle over again. I've also noticed a new caveat to the madness--the desire to prepare for the impending apocalypse while still trying to figure out the every day details of life.
If I could sum this all up--I would call it a "fear driven life existence" thought pattern.
We FEAR not knowing what's going on, so we turn to the screens. The screens tell us exactly what to FEAR and to what degree. We get confused and shut off the screens or entertain ourselves to death and become ambivalent to real life. And then we feel guilty for letting ourselves forget everything. We over-correct by being hyper vigilant. There's never enough time to clean everything, but we try. And if we have OCD tendencies, we let them run wild. And because we are exhausted, we feel like taking it out on anyone who isn't taking it as seriously as we are, so then it is time to get self righteous and judge others who aren't holding up to this never attainable standard. And then we wonder why we don't have friends. We go back to being confused. And then we FEAR that our liberties are being taken away, and then our churches will be shut down. We may fear getting the virus, giving the virus to someone, missing work or having to go back to work. But whatever it is, it is FEAR. And then we take 10 seconds of comfort knowing the apocalypse might actually be happening sooner rather than later. But then we go right back to fearing what level of suffering can possibly ensue before that happens. And so forth.
So, just so we are all straight on this. FEAR is not a virtue. It's not an attainment of a higher awareness or life. FEAR is a motivator, but not in a good way. FEAR makes us do things without thinking, in a reactionary sort of way. Powerful people use fear because it works. It works so well that we are all succumbing to its power, in some way or another.
Let's unravel the previous scenario in a non-fear driven life.
We want to know what is going on, so.. we go to the Lord in prayer and read his word before we turn on the screens. The screens try to tell us what to think, but we carefully evaluate one thing at a time before deciding how to deal with it. We don't become ambivalent, but we do take purposeful breaks from media just to process and reflect and stay connected to oneself. We read both sides of an issue before deciding what to do, knowing that basic cleanliness and common sense have gotten us through many things in the past. Wearing a mask if required, using hand washing and hand sanitizer as needed but not letting the fear of things control every aspect of life. Trusting God for the actions of others, we don't need judge people if they see this issue differently from me. I am safe with the Lord and so are they. Recognizing the signs of the times, we wait in joyful expectation for the Lord's return, knowing that we still will have to make dinner tonight and clean the fridge tomorrow. Looking for opportunities to share the Lord with people, but knowing that they probably just want someone to listen to them. And we are at peace with that also.
I don't know how you are all dealing with the fear-driven life virus going around, but if you have ways of coping that you would like to share, add some comments in the FB link or here.