Vices & Virtues- by Ethan Van Sice “Life seemed so simple yesterday”

It reminds me of a horror movie. Disaster after disaster, with only one, detrimental outlook that seems most likely.

Life seemed so simple yesterday….

This coronavirus thing is about 2 weeks too old in my opinion, and I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been consuming my mind just as much as it has yours. And it’s not like we can help it. There’s literally nothing else to consume right now, other than sarcastic memes relating to the very same subject.

Every news station, every radio devotional, every stock market following is covering the Coronavirus situation. Most, if they were being honest, would tell you it was a feeling of “preparation for the end of days,” in every literal sense. It’s definitely real now, but it’s equally just as surreal. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. It’s just dramatic enough to be entertainment, yet deadly enough to have you question everything you thought to be true.

But is all of this devotion to fearful living a good thing?

A few weeks ago, I would’ve thought the facts of the situation didn’t justify the reaction. The numbers have since become as much of a conundrum as the virus itself. My brother, who is treating COVID patients in Oklahoma, has confirmed that this is absolutely a serious situation. Guess who’s dropped a bunch of dried out, surface-level worries from their day. Yep, only one GIANT situation to fret over now.

I really think a dose of optimism, a distraction from all this confusion, is 100% necessary right now. And I also think it’s a shame. Comfort and positivity are the last things we’re being offered.

Except maybe toilet paper…

Take a listen to the frogs by the river this time of year. Hear the panting in the woods, billowing sure enough into an unseen vapor cloud by some massive, self-sufficient beast somewhere. Experience all the life, the lasting organisms, who have been here for a millennium. Now think about viruses; they die. Nearly, all the time. It’s practically their definitive existence. Things run their course. But some things, the strong things… they survive.

These times are indeed scary. And there’s nothing wrong in admitting that. We’re being forced into a routine that’s completely new and foreign to us. We must pretend like we’re not scared of our neighbors, and yet unity is the only way to reach understanding.

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:25

David Marcozzi, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said, “Make sure that you don’t come in close contact with folks and you’re making sure that you stay out of big congregations — for instance, churches, synagogues.”

These aren’t contrasting pieces of advice. Along with the time upcoming as “his return drawing near,” we’re also living in a most advantageous point of modern technology.

There are workarounds. Many churches and bible study groups have decided to hold virtual gatherings online. Chain letter writing to your neighbors is another option, and let’s not forget about the telephone. A fellowship can be established without a physical presence, and now is more important than ever. You’re given the opportunity to completely place your faith in his plan, nearly by default.

Nobody can fathom an appropriate response to all of this in our human, limited mindset, but you must place your trust in an idea, a coping mechanism, a belief, a truth that surpasses all sense.

When we’re at our weakest, He’s at His strongest.

When the athletes, the rock musicians, and the politicians are no longer free to campaign for your admiration, it’s time to turn our faces back to Him. Something greater is at work.

“If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face; then I will hear from the heavens, forgive their sings, and heal your land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

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