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Archive for March 15th, 2020

People hoarding toilet paper and sanitizer, limits on travel, cancelling of sporting and entertainment events, stock markets plunging and social media informing the populace on COVID-19 …

” … be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic … for the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
– Deuteronomy 31:6

We have observed students, parents and travellers roll their eyes, ignore professional advice or grow in fear each day.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” -John 14:27

I, myself, have the Wolrd Health Organization and the John Hopkins COVID-19 Global Map (in real time) in open tabs on my laptop, so that I can keep up to date on the facts of this global pandemic.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

Yet, with all of the cancellations and changes, with all of the craziness, with all of this doom and gloom … there is a realization that we are not in control. With that realization comes the acceptance that our hope, humanly speaking, is not within our own humanity.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
– Psalm 46:1

In 1948, after the horrors of the end of WW2, people realized that, though the war was over, a new age had dawned … the Atomic Age … and people were perhaps even more fearful than during the war years.

It was then that C.S. Lewis wrote an essay titled, On Living in an Atomic Age (which was published with other essays in a book called Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays.

It would seem than many have been dusting this essay off lately … still wise words for tough times. I have gone ahead and replaced “atomic bomb” with “coronavirus” (noted by italics).

In one way, we think a great deal too much of the coronavirus. “How are we to live in an coronavirus age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the coronavirus was spreading: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by coronavirus, let that virus when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about the coronavirus. It may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but it need not dominate our minds.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:6-7

May we not allow fear to guide us.

May we be found spending this time doing sensible things … things like making good meals, washing our hands, offering others assistance, taking walks to breath in the fresh air, reading good books, cleaning out our closets, making long distance calls, stretching our bodies, praying, loving others in practical and spiritual ways … posting encouragement on social media.

Let us love.

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
– Proverbs 12:25 

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