These are strange times. If you are anything like me, over the last couple of days, maybe weeks, you have spent more time than you would like to admit scrolling, refreshing, searching, and scrolling again, looking for who knows what in regard to the coronavirus/COVID-19. The
great thing about the internet is that anybody, can say anything, about any topic. So we scroll past countless non-experts giving their “expert” opinion on these wild times we are living in. This post is NOT that. I have no insight on the state of the pandemic, what we should do to stop it, how worried we should be on a scale of 1-10 (though I do love asking my friends that!), or whether mountain biking counts as social distancing (I hope so).
Instead, I have a few observations about life in general, that I think have become especially clear in this strange time. You see, it feels like this virus has shined a massive spotlight on modern life. It has caused us to spend time considering our daily habits, our patterns and practices of life, our cultural obsessions and, not to be dramatic, our deepest desires. With so much of the world as we know it coming to a screeching halt – we can’t help but to be a little reflective. It causes us to ask questions ranging from “What is the value of sports?” to “How should I be spending my money/time/resources?” to “Why is it so important for the church to gather as a physical body?” It causes us to think deeply about our priorities both personally, and as a society. In this way, the coronavirus acts like a massive spotlight.
The thing about a spotlight is that it does not magically cause things to appear. It simply illuminates the things that have been there all along. So while it does appear that the coronavirus may drastically alter our way of life for quite some time, I think that it is also revealing things about ourselves (as in human kind) that have always been true. This strange time has just created an opportunity for us to see these things more clearly. Truths about humanity that have remained hidden beneath the rushing waters of our fast paced, overstimulated, chaotic lives are now rising to the surface in light of a global pandemic. I have listed some of these truths (or at least what I believe to be truths) below:
- We are not in control
- We long for significance and security
- We (and things) are complicated
- We need grace from/for each other
- We are deeply interconnected
- We are more selfish than we think
- We have a great capacity for love
Over the next week or so, I plan to spend some time discussing each one of these ideas, and how we are seeing it more clearly in light of our current circumstances. A few caveats: 1) I am bad at consistently writing on here, no matter how much I say I am going to change that. 2) The situation seems pretty fluid and things I say about the current circumstances one day may be totally different the next – hopefully these truths will transcend that, but I’m sure I will write things that won’t age well. 3) Even though I am claiming to be writing about some observable “truths”, I will probably give lots of caveats. Caveats are my favorite. 4) I also recognize that the coronavirus and COVID-19 is the cause of much suffering, pain, and anguish around the world, and I don’t want to minimize that in any way. I will aim to be thoughtful and attentive to this fact as I write, but I’m sure I will fail in many regards. Have grace.
Finally, I would love to talk with you about any of the things that I write! If you are reading this, it is probably because you are my mom, dad, spouse or sibling – so just text me! If not, feel free to comment your thoughts! I am excited to unpack these ideas over the coming days/weeks (months?).