Wednesday 25 March 2020

Wash the Virus Out of Your Mind

There is so much conflicting information about the severity of this coronavirus with official sources and the media all talking death and destruction and only a few more sober voices urging caution before giving up freedoms that, once given up for a first time, will be quite easy to take away again, that I have decided on the following course of action. It's based on advice from Jesus, than which there is none better in any situation.

I am going to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's. Consequently, I shall continue to wash my hands regularly, observe government instructions about social distancing and take every precaution I can to make sure that no one in my household catches this infection. I shall avoid other people as much as possible when out walking and work from home as I must. But I will also make sure my mind is my own and not succumb to what seems to me very much like propaganda. I will not dismiss it as an egotistic contrarian might but I will not just accept it without seeking alternative opinions either. I am well aware that there are crackpots spouting all sorts of nonsense out there but there are intelligent and informed people too who take a different view to the party line and who have the intellectual wherewithal and substance to back it up.

Most of all, I will trust in God. I will not put God to the test which is the act of a prideful person not a faithful believer because it is saying that God will break his laws for you if you want him to. You are trying to manipulate him. That was one of the temptations that Jesus plainly showed we should not succumb to unless we think we are better than him. It is a temptation for the religious person who wants to show off his religiousness. So, I won't ignore caution and common sense. But I will trust God to send me the experiences I need, whatever they are. And I will put the reality of the higher world of love and truth and beauty in which no imperfection or nasty virus can be found above the passing problems of the world.

One thing we should all learn from the current crisis is that our world is very unstable and can collapse or be taken away from us at any moment. That is always the case, not just now. This has been brought into focus at the current time but is a permanent underlying truth. And what that means is we should not put our hopes and ambitions in worldly things. These are ephemeral. Ultimately, the only thing that we can rely on is God but we can rely on Him completely. If we can learn that lesson, the present difficulties will be one of the best things that could happen to us. So rather than see this as a disaster, see it as an opportunity to get things in their proper perspective.


Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I find I am living rather like somebody who has a terminal illness, who knows he is going to die soon (maybe days, but probably in weeks or months). Many people in history, including several people I know, have lived that way. It seems to be the best way to live at present - even though I expect the reaction to the birdemic to be the cause of death, not the disease.

But although the world situation was undoubtedly caused by agents of evil (not good) - I keep circling back to the fact taht God knows this and is working on the situation. After all, the way things were going was *very bad indeed* (as we can see from most people's behaviour and choices now), and it couldn't (as well as shouldn't) go on forever.

It is quite possible (albeit not pre-decided) that this situation will (against the intentions of those running things) do considerably more Christian good than harm; God will certainly be creating innumerable opportunities for this to happen for each of us - it's up to each of us to recognise these chances when they arise.

William Wildblood said...

Dear Bruce, it is supposed to be spiritually healthy to live as though death were not far off as it brings the mind closer to ultimate things. I have not reached that state yet myself.

However, we and people like us have the advantage of understanding that the world that is being turned upside down now was a spiritually unhealthy world. I'm sure you are right that God can always bring good out of evil and he may well be doing that now though, as always, we have to accept what he offers and sometimes that might be hard as we are required to let go of a great deal.