In the late 70’s to early 80’s there was a sitcom called “Soap”. It was a parody of soap operas and at the beginning of each episode the announcer gave a recap of several ridiculous plot lines, ending with this phrase, “Confused? You won’t be after tonight’s episode.”
But of course you knew you would be because next week would be the recap and the assurance that all would make sense in thirty minutes. I feel 2020 could be following the same format.
So if you feel confused, I want to offer you some comfort that you are not alone. Here are a few things I have been processing lately:
- Do you remember a short year ago when all the health articles said our kids were getting sick all the time because we are too clean? They recommended playing in the dirt more and pitching those evil hand sanitizers so they could build immunities. Now we are dousing them in hand sanitizers whilst wiping off shopping cards, playground equipment and our own light switches on the daily.
- In the past few years there has been a push in the evangelical community to gather. We have been urged to not sit side by side and leave on Sunday, but get into small groups and talk and eat and fellowship. Take off those facades and show our true selves. Now we social distance ourselves into pews with masks on our faces.
- Like the articles warning of overdosing on hygiene, there have been multiple articles warning of the danger of too much screen time for children. We read copious amounts about the damage this can do to them and now we are parking them in front of them to attend classes.
- It was not that long ago that I shuddered at the thought of how popular it was becoming to offer the elderly a quick exit ticket through what was being touted as a mercy gift of early death. Suddenly the protection of the elderly being exposed to this virus that seems to put the aged at high risk is a primary concern at the expense of them being loved and cared for by family.
- There are people who are supporters of Pro-Life who are refusing to wear masks and there are people who are supporters of Pro-choice who are vocally calling for mandating the wearing of masks to preserve life. I don’t mean to oversimplify this – but there is an irony as it has flipped in a noticeable way.
- We have gone from a culture that says there is no ultimate truth to a culture that is all about fact-checking and uses blocking and notices to point out errors. And in a random side note – remember when plastic bags were bad for the environment and were disappearing from grocery stores in major cities? Now good luck trying to sneak a green bag into a store. You will be escorted out and frowned upon. Plastic is back in force.
We are living in confusing times and we are isolated from personal contact but overexposed to what the media, both news and social, are feeding us. Opinions and rhetoric and agendas are flying about and yet day to day we live with our people and take care of what is in front of us to the best of our ability.
Things change rapidly and many days we find ourselves scrambling to catch up with the latest recommendations, cancellations and adjustments.
You all know that, because you are living it. But sometimes we just need to stop and say it out loud.
I pray you are finding peace and stability in the midst of it all. I pray you are taking to heart what ended up being my memory verse this week:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.Philippians 4:6
Break that down.
We have plenty of things to make us anxious, but God says do not be anxious. About anything.
Throughout the day, we will face situations that might prompt worry, concern of fear. God tells us to talk to Him directly and immediately as those things arise. Tell Him what is causing you to get upset. Ask for His help and remember who He is and His love for you with gratitude. Talk it out with Him and then quiet your heart and receive His comfort, guidance, wisdom, help or just rest in the fact that He is Sovereign over your troubles.
God bless you in your journey today. Most likely we will have opportunities galore to list a lot of things that don’t quite add up. And chances are good they won’t after today’s episode, but God is faithful. Follow His directions and then repeat <3