Who would have believed 2 months ago that we would see our busy worlds all but shut down? Life has definitely taken a different turn than any of us could have even imagined. Schools closed, restaurants struggling to stay in business while unable to open their dining rooms to patrons, grocery store shelves stripped of supplies, churches forced to live-stream-only services. I have watched with amazement, while shaking my head, at the reactions of people. I am sure there are plenty of people who have remained calm and focused, but unfortunately, there are lots who have bought into the fear-mongering of the media and the never-ending rumors found on social media. Honestly, I find it a little bit scary at how easily we are led by those things. Fear is not our friend. Now is not the time to allow ourselves to be driven by it. Now is the time to keep calm, use common sense, and listen to those who are doing their best to deal with this whole situation.
Even non-believers know the Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Perhaps we would do well to exercise this on a daily basis. Hoarding things like toilet paper (which I still don’t understand) is not exercising the Golden Rule. It is looking out for yourself at the expense of others. This is not Armageddon. Rather, it is an unexpected interruption that will not last forever. This will pass. Things will return to normal before too long. I am trying to assess my life and see what lessons I can learn from all this.
If you are like me, you have some money in the stock market. I have an excellent financial adviser and my investments are quite diverse and conservative. Have I lost money? Of course I have, but I have no idea how much! I choose not to even look at it. What difference will it make other than to stir up a sense of fear? One of my neighbors apparently sits and stares at the action taking place on the trading floor. Every time I see him, he is talking about how much the market has dropped. That is not helpful for him or for those he tells. Do I want to lose money? No, but money is not my god. I refuse to be controlled by the stock market.
Now that we are doing the “social distancing” thing, social media seems to be worse than ever. Opinions, rumors, unchecked posts. And the responses are concerning. If we are going to post about someone’s struggles in this tough economic time, we should do so with the intention of rallying help for them. Prayer is a wonderful thing, but a hungry person needs to be fed. James 2:15-16 says “”If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” We have an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus through this situation. I have noticed that spoken needs are followed by responses of how the government will help them. It’s great we have a government that is willing to do what they can to help us, but Jesus has called His people to help those in need. Perhaps we could look for tangible solutions to these needs; buying a meal, helping pay someone’s rent or utility bill, childcare, etc.
And finally, since we find ourselves bound closer to home, maybe this would be a good time to actually get to know our neighbors. It’s pretty cool to see folks standing their 5 feet apart just laughing and trying to solve the world’s problems. Offer to shop for your elderly neighbors. Spend time outside. Play with your kids. Use this time as a gift and not as a bother.
Lots of love, Sharon