“he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”1 Peter 1:3b, ESV
I hate the Coronavirus. I hate the Quarantine.
But— the thing I hate most about it, is the dominance it has on our conversations with one another.
Every single time I am talking to someone, scrolling on social media, alone in my thoughts, in my prayers, and so forth— the Coronavirus seems to dominate the topic.
As it reasonably should. I am not ignorant to the fact that there is a need to continue to unpack what the current moment means for us as we move forward. However, I am currently not exactly facing anxiety, but rather imprisonment. The bondage to these words that “promise” the demise of everything we could possibly determine “normal”.
I graduate in May (or rather August..) from Abilene Christian University with a BFA in Theatre and a Minor in Bible. For most of my life (give or take maybe a couple days), I have always been future minded. What is going to happen next? Where will I end up? How will I get there? However, these kind of questions usually tend to haunt me rather than give me things to think about. Because of this I find myself forgetting to be present and seeing the blessings that are already in my life.
I mentioned that the Coronavirus is dominating right now. Let’s break that down.
Currently the virus has seen cases in every country. It has dominated the health fields in that aspect, we are seeing hospitals overrun and governments initiating shut downs across the board. There is a dominance that goes without saying…even though I just said it.
Furthermore, this virus has taken over social media, we can’t stop talking about it. Relationships and conversations are now being surrounded by the guidelines that this virus has created. A new reality. Not completely, but you get the point. Additionally, we have yet to see an article or piece of news that has nothing to do with the virus whatsoever. Even this blog is talking about the virus and I can’t stand it (yes I see the irony, and I’m rolling my eyes too, I’m even publishing it a day late because it is ridiculous that I can’t think of anything else to write about).
Finally, as a senior it has taken away my time. My last moments as a graduating senior and the last moments I get to have with people that have shaped my life before I get tossed to the ever hungry sharks of life. (Okay, it’s not that scary but I needed an analogy).
I’m sure I speak for many other students when I say, can we please talk about something else?
Don’t get me wrong, I think we should continue unpacking what the current moment has for us, the virus and quarantine is changing the way we do life, and we should talk about that. I will not be ignorant to that reality.
However— this virus has taken the shape of a fear in which it does not instill hope. But rather instills this knowledge that the virus is the one in control. The virus has control over us.
We may not verbally recognize it, but because we allow it to dominate our minds, our conversations, our social media, our devotionals, and quite potentially our future plans, we give this virus complete control.
Through this, we choose to fill our days with mindless activities because it is something we can control. We choose to seize things for ourselves because there is a “sense” of control. I mean— it’s why we are seeing so many hair cut fails circulate the parts of social media that isn’t about the virus. Control.
Not going to lie— I have done a sucky job at surrendering control and surrendering to Jesus because giving this virus and my own mindlessness power, is just so much easier. It is. But it has made me tired.
It reminds me of Bilbo Baggins when he talks to Gandalf:
“I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.”J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
It’s funny because people do want a change, we are in one of the biggest changes in recent history and we can’t take it anymore. But I am reminded that we do have a living hope, and He offers us transformation that is greater than any change we could imagine. A transformation to peace that passes all understanding.
The question is, how will I get there? Where will I end up? What is going to happen next?
I don’t think we get the right to have these answers. This virus has become an idol of sorts, taking all of our attention. But I am ready to seek the God who offers transformation to a peace that passes understanding.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”1 Peter 1:8-9, ESV
Father, help my unbelief. I surrender my attention and desire for mindlessness. Give me peace that passes understanding. Lord, take control and may Your Spirit rise up in me. Show me how to walk in the light to be a servant to Your children. I repent and confess of the rule I have given the virus over my life and I pray that You would revive me. Thank You for You Son, a living hope for Your people. In His name I pray. Amen.