In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
The preceding, of course, comes from the preamble to the fourth book of the New Testament, the Book of John. I’m finding myself turning to the Bible to seek light from ageless text to help me in mitigating the spiritual, emotional and mental strains the worldwide pandemic has brought to bear. I call it ageless, because although it was written during ancient times, its applicability is timeless. It deals with issues humankind has struggled with sense before historical records were ever produced. These are the strangest of times that I have ever dealt with. Sure, I’ve gone through other times of challenge, such as the civil rights movement; the Vietnam War; civil unrest, resulting in burning and destruction in major urban centers; the horrors of 911; however, nothing like this. Just to give you a sense of scale, I draw your attention to the fact that more Americans have died during this pandemic than perished during the Vietnam war. God forbid we matched the 675,000 souls lost during the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.
The current pandemic is like a world war with no clear battle plan. No one seems to be able to figure out the logistics necessary to effectively deploy the troops. All the world leaders are trying to fight this war, but they don’t seem to be in concert. If there’s a common enemy that’s posing a major threat to humankind, shouldn’t there be a common rallying point for all corners of the world? Look at us, we’re still involved in local and regional scrimmages all over the place. Geopolitical dynamics are unfolding as normal as anyone would expect. We talk about a new normal; however, folks are talking about getting back to business as before.
I sat in on a Zoom conference call recently with several leaders of my local church. The purpose of the call was to figure out a strategy for getting back together physically for worship and fellowship. The discussion was far reaching, but it seemed a bit unfocused. That’s not meant as a negative criticism, but rather a definition of a stroll through unfamiliar territory. But was the territory unfamiliar? Didn’t our great grandparents have to deal with many of these same issues during and after the Spanish Flu pandemic, previously mentioned? Didn’t they wrestle with the strain of being locked in at home? Didn’t they get back out too soon in some cases, causing pockets of resurgence of the disease? One would think we would retrospectively learn from what they did wrong and not repeat it. One would also think that the improvements in public health systems would put us in better position to weather this worldwide storm of 2020 than the folks of 1918.
If there’s one thing life has taught me it’s that the human model and how we address all issues of existence, remains basically the same. We continue millennium after millennium to be driven by the same things, greed, love, lust of all kinds, hatred and all the motivational seeds that grow in the garden of human experience. How will there ever be anything new under the sun, given that normality?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.