Don’t make him come down here
Don’t you just hate all this uncertainty? I sure do, and long for some definitive answers to these and other questions persistently punctuating this pandemic.
- Are COVID-19 cases going to spike so dramatically after ending the lockdown that we’ll have to lockdown again?
- Would a second wave of the pandemic be worse than what we’ve already seen?
- Was the lockdown actually a grave mistake?
- Will our economy ever recover?
I’ll tell you who doesn’t know. Any and every human being. None of us mere mortals knows the future. Wouldn’t it be great if there were some transcendent, supernatural, inconceivably powerful being who does?
If we don’t come through this crisis certain of at least one thing – that we desperately need God – all the deaths, distress, financial hardships, loneliness, and lifestyle inconveniences will have been for naught. And God will likely put us through it all again. Because he loves us.
Let’s say you have an independently-minded, rebellious sixteen-year-old son with a driver’s license and a job at a local pizza place. He’s happy to let you feed, clothe, and house him but rejects your authority, considering himself emancipated. He wants to run his own life, go where and do what he wants, and believes he is perfectly capable of protecting and providing for himself.
As his parent, you know things he doesn’t and have wisdom he’s decades away from acquiring. So you’ve set boundaries and curfews, designated particular places and people as prohibited, and required of him certain behaviors and responsibilities. But he completely ignores you and your restrictive rules, exposing himself to danger and risking his future health and well-being.
So you ground him. You take away his driving privileges, confine him to the house, and call his boss to tell him your son won’t be able to work for awhile. If your son completes his quarantine with a new appreciation of your loving authority and the wisdom of depending on and obeying you, he will have altered the trajectory of his life from one headed for ruin to a future of prosperity, peace, and contentment.
But if he does not, you will take additional, harsher measures to try and turn him away from the things that will destroy him. Because you love him.
I pray we do not fail to learn the lessons of this pandemic, and I don’t mean proper hand-washing and caring for others. I think we are learning those and will all be better off for having done so. But if we fail to come out of this crisis recognizing and appreciating who alone has all the answers and can save us from destruction, I fear harsher measures may be on the horizon.