“I don’t feel like it”

melancholic woman watching video on laptop at homeI totally get that we are all itching for things to get back to normal. I also am beyond weary of staying at home, only going on absolutely necessary errands, wearing a mask, social distancing, ordering as much as possible on-line, and my own four walls. I too miss going out to a restaurant, getting together with friends and family, and hugging our 2 year old grandson. It has been waay too long. Eight weeks is a long time to be constantly on alert for killer

germs I cannot see. Eight weeks is a long time to watch news that primarily consists of the latest ever-rising counts of the infected, unemployed, and dead. But this is not a 1-hour medical drama where the team of experts solves the issue before the next commercial. This is the real world where eight weeks is a mere eye-blink in the world of medical care and research.

So what do I know? I know that the scientists are working as hard as they can around the clock to provide a safe and effective treatment for those who contract CoVid 19. I know that they are also working double and triple-time to find a safe, long-lasting, truly effective vaccine. I also know that essentially nothing has changed yet. I know that the only proven methods of stopping the spread and saving lives require behavior changes on all of our parts. And thus comes the rub. ME.

I used to live in a state whose motto was “Live Free or Die.” I was shocked to discover that they valued their individuality so much that they refused to post house numbers so the fire department could locate them in an emergency! Really?

The cry of “my right” is being waved like a flag and scores of people are flocking to beaches and parks. One unmasked protester from Texas even made the claim that “she is not afraid of the virus and we shouldn’t be held captive by social distance rules because… people get sick and die all the time.” Didn’t anyone ever tell her that it is not all about her? Or me. We have no more tools to fight this pandemic than we had eight weeks ago. We only have the two we’ve had all along: social distancing and wearing masks. And yet people are acting like it’s over because they “don’t feel like it anymore.” Really?

What if I “didn’t feel like” showering, or doing dishes,or writing sermons? What if I “didn’t feel like” paying my bills, telling the truth, paying my taxes or feeding my dogs? My daily life contains a myriad of things that need to be done whether I “feel like it” or not and yet people are acting like that is the trump card in any situation – especially CoVid19. The Bible is full of cautionary tales about people who “didn’t feel like” listening to God. Think of Jonah and Lot’s Wife for starters. Jesus only mentions once that he would rather not before recounting – saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:42 Gotta say a reasonable request since He was facing a brutal death. At no other time did He ever acquiesce because the person he was trying to help, “didn’t feel like it.”   I really can’t remember Jesus ever saying – “If you want to follow me, take up your cross… UNLESS you don’t feel like it – then you can still come.”

Looking at it that way, my sacrifice of wearing a mask and social distancing really doesn’t seem so onerous. It is a way to live out His commandment “Love your neighbor as yourself” Jesus asks us to do that every day, whether “I feel like it” or not. But here is the best part, my small sacrifice (whatever it happens to be) always reaps huge rewards, not just in the future but right at the time. I am flooded with good and positive feelings that trump whatever self-absorbed resistance I might have had. The restrictions may still chafe a bit and while I would like things to be different, I cannot change it. But I do know that with Jesus walking with me – I can endure anything. How about you?

 

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