A thing or two I think I know
When the virus finally settles down, our national response will likely be viewed as one of two things: (1) it will be either a gigantic overreaction… (2) or an equally gigantic underreaction.
We just don’t know which direction of a miss-hit our aim will be. We don’t have the wisdom or foresight to hit it just right.
Responses to the crisis are all over the map. Look at social media, you’ll see what I mean. Some say we should do less. Others say it’s not enough.
And we know where news media outlets stand – they have news to sell, right? Their job is to keep us second guessing leadership so we’ll keep turning in to their programs.
Those that over-prepared for Y2K just over 20 years ago – well they missed it. Some paid thousands or millions to prepare their computer systems. They over-planned and overpaid. Some companies did not hire Y2K consultants. They took a chance… and they were right.
But this situation is different. We already know there’s a problem.
Those in position of government and community leadership (schools, businesses, churches, municipalities) have no choice but to aim toward overreact – because we just don’t know.
We don’t even know what the bigger evil will be from all this. Will it be the health impact? Or financial fallout?
The greater risk might not be health. After all, death is a fact of life. And the numbers aren’t that great…yet. (How may homicides occurred in America last week? Exponentially much more, right?)
We don’t even know the full extend of the threats we’re facing. It’s really strange. How do we even quantify what we’re fighting and how much the fight is worth? We’ve not done this kind of thing before.
One other thing I know. God is getting our attention.
In these moments we see just how finite we really are. We are clueless humans. We’re like grasshoppers on the ground. We hop around, without direction or knowledge or foresight.
In a generation when our nation is mostly proud, haughty and self-sufficient – we’re seeing just how quickly we can become scared, humbled and dependent.
Just weeks ago we were basking in stock market gold and soaring job reports while settling in for an entertaining election season.
Now we’re reminded how defenseless and directionless we really are. We’re not even sure how to proceed with primary elections. We’re a nation deep in debt and doubling down for more. America is getting a gut punch.
At the same time, America is getting a gift. Many will turn to God.
People are scared. Some fear the virus. Fear turns people to God.
Others are not afraid of the virus – but they fear for their livelihoods and personal economies. Financial worry turns people to God, too.
Trillions of dollars have been pulled from the markets. There will be bankruptcies. Industries (airlines, retail, travel) will be hammered – turning to an already broken and debt-laden government for help.
For Christians, the words of Jesus Christ to the church of Laodicea seem most fitting today.
“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.” (Revelation 3:15-18)
We’re being humbled, America. It’s time to “buy gold” from Jesus and purify our hearts and minds.
[Once again, friends – I know you don’t need a sermon. This is just Jeff, thinking alongside you. Thanks for listening and for your many email replies.]