I started my car today for the first time in a week and actually drove out of the driveway. I didn’t head out for Cool Ranch Doritos or pints of Orange Sherbet – though it did cross my mind – but I needed to stop at work briefly to check the mail and such. It was strange because traffic was unusually sparse and in my office building, with the exception of the security guard, there was nary a person in sight.
While people and traffic were few and far between there was an acute awareness inside my brain that “out there” is an unseen virus, the coronavirus (COVID-19 they’re calling it). It’s out there someplace, not just someplace but in lots of places all over the United States… all over the globe. Unseen and unseeable (without a microscope).
Now I live in Upstate New York in a county where there are less than 100 cases reported so far, but I am well aware that New York City (which is about 170+/- miles away from where I sit), as of today March 28th, is reported to have almost 30,000 cases. What’s more, as additional people are being tested it is revealing that more people are infected. It is surreal. I understand the cautions and protocols that everyone is being asked to implement into their daily lives and I am doing what I’m told for a change – foolhardy I am not (at least not in this case).
One important thing I have begun to realize in the midst of this time of self-quarantine and social distancing is that we cannot live our lives in fear. We need to do what we can to protect ourselves and our families but fear has no place here. Carrying fear will strip us of our power and ability to cope and to do what needs doing. I know that once fear has been allowed to run rampant it can affect many parts of our lives. Fear and self-doubt are best friends and once you lease out a flat to those two you might as well pack it in, get the remote and a load of junk food for a marathon of self-destruction.
I speak from experience here. As a creative sort of person I know that fear can derail many a great effort. It has for me in the past but more and more these days I’m onto it – fear is my enemy. Fear is an enemy who is unwelcome and banished. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not this ultra courageous person but more and more as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to move past the fear. I credit God for that. I know under my own steam nothing much happens but when I rely on God I know He’s got my back. He has all our backs!
I know this trying time will eventually be over and we will have conquered this virus somehow and in the aftermath we need to come through it stronger than before. So lean. From a distance right now we can lean on family and friends but know that there is no need to social distance from The Great I Am. In closing I’d like to share my Grandma Mahoney’s favorite Bible verse. I’m not great at memorizing things but this verse I have committed to memory and can bring it out when I need a Word of comfort from God. Be safe everyone.
Proverbs 3:5-6 English Standard Version (ESV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.