Be Part of the Change

It wasn’t long ago, was it? We were worried about a virus. The virus consumed us. It was everything. There was nothing more important.

Simpler times.

Now, nothing matters more than the protests.

First, the virus. Now the protests.

And in both cases, nothing mattered more.

There are a couple of options here. There are at least a couple of things going on.

First, this is just a really bad year. I mean, the worst year in the history of years. In modern history, at least, there’s not been anything like this, and we just need to press on and get out of it.

Second, the powers that be are struggling more than any of us would want to imagine. There’s more going on here than any of could every dream or imagine, and we just need to press on and get out of it.

And either way, most of us are caught in the middle.

So what do we do? Those of us caught in the middle, what is the solution? How do we get life back to a semblance of normalcy?

That’s the question, isn’t it? How can life ever get back to a semblance of normalcy?

Here’s the answer.

We will not.

It will not.

Life will not get back to what it was.

And it shouldn’t.

There was so much wrong with life before. And I write this, knowing that I benefited so much from the life before.

But things can’t return to that. They just can’t.

Life, pre-COVID, we can’t go back to that.

Life, pre-protests, we can’t go back to that.

There is so much that needs to change. So much that needs to be done better. I can’t even begin to articulate it all. I just know it needs to happen.

We are at a pivotal moment in history, y’all. Everything is changing, and everything must change, and we have to be a part of the change or everything is just for shit.

And that’s just damned depressing. And it’s also damned exciting and liberating.

So I will be part of the change.

I’m not sure how, but I will be. I hope you will be, too.

We Won’t Be Manipulated

Things are coming to a head, aren’t they?

For Americans, at least. Things are being pushed and shoved and we are being pushed and shoved.

We thought 2016 was bad. 2016 was a kindergarten class compared to 2020.

2016 had a few social media posts that made us question this and that. 2020 has video and on the ground and first person narrative and chaos reigning supreme.

2016 had us coming out of a rough campaign season. 2020 has us coming out of a global pandemic.

It almost seems too easy, doesn’t it? All of it, how quickly everything has fallen apart? It’s all too easy.

And it seems clear… we’re being pushed. We’re being forced. It all seems inevitable, because we’re fulfilling someone’s agenda.

But here’s the the thing that those doing the pushing and the shoving and influencing can’t overcome…

We can’t be manipulated.

We won’t be manipulated.

We will overcome.

We will overcome the attempts to bend our will to those who are bending. We will look to the people who live around us, regardless of their differences. We will remember that what makes us strong is our community.

What makes us strong is our community.

Social media, and its inflammatory ways be damned.

Stay strong, America. Overcome. Stay strong and overcome this – the biggest threat we’ve faced in generations. Overcome.

Overcome.

Please, for God’s sake, overcome.

Stay Frosty

Stay frosty, my friends.

Things are getting more and more interesting, and not in a good way.

This is not the time for complacency, nor is the time for rash action. But it is the time to stay frosty.

Pay attention and activate your critical thinking skill superpowers. Maintain your situational awareness. Don’t let down your guard. Stay vigilant.

Things don’t happen by accident, not on this scale. And even if they did, other frostier people will use it to their advantage.

Do like Jesus said. Love your neighbor. Love your enemy. Pray for the persecutors. Pray. Love.

But, in your love, in your prayer, stay frosty.

Things are going to get more and more interesting.

Breathe, and act.

Everyone, just breathe.

Take a step back from it all and breathe.

Don’t react… don’t just share the story that is enraging you because it is enraging you… just don’t.

Instead, breathe.

Take a moment and consider what you are about to do.

And then, if that is what your conscience is telling you, add to it. Share it. Act.

Just don’t react.

Act.

Make sure what you are sharing is worth sharing.

We’re in perilous times, and each of us plays a part. Don’t play a reactive part. Play an active part.

Just breathe.

And act.

Situational Awareness.

Situational awareness.

The other day I was talking to Noah about this. I told him that we need to be aware of what is going on around us, because being aware can save us from unnecessary harm.

I told him that it means paying attention. In China, you can be walking along on the sidewalk, minding your own business, and a scooter comes flying up from behind. If you aren’t paying attention, that scooter can knock you to the ground.

It means paying attention. Looking for danger where no danger seems to be.

It means paying attention when crossing the street, even when we have a green light. Because drivers might not be paying attention and run through the light.

It means paying attention.

It means understanding that other people may not be looking out for your best interest. Drivers, scooters, they’ve got their own goals. They’re not necessarily concerned about the little boy and his dad crossing the street. It’s not even on their radar.

They just want to get where they’re going.

They’re not actively seeking our destruction, but they are looking out for themselves. And if we get in their way, well, that’s just too bad.

Situational awareness means paying attention.

It means paying attention.

Pay attention.

Choose joy.

How’s everyone doing?

We’re in a global pandemic.

Life, as we’re shown it, continues to be ugly. It seems like some want us to focus on the ugly. Focus on the ugly.

Focus on the ugly.

It’s easy to focus on what we’re being shown. But how is it for you?

I hope that you are doing well.

I hope that you can find joy right now, even in the middle of all the ugly. And I hope that joy is real.

Even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Even when what we’re shown is ugly.

I hope you can find the joy.

Look for the joy.

Savor the joy.

Choose joy.

Choose joy.

Choose joy.

Choose the joy.

Discussing COVID

Had a distressing conversation with someone I don’t know on FB today.

I know. FB comment sections and people you don’t know. I get it. I’ll do better next time.

But this person cited a certain study as proof that COVID19 was not passed on by asymptomatic people. I’ve linked the study.

This would have huge implications if it were true. It would mean that our shocked reactions to the Lake of the Ozarks this weekend were an overreaction. It would mean that much of what we’re doing… the social distancing, the staying at home, the masks… is nonsense. It would mean that we only need to worry if someone is symptomatic. That would be huge.

But I took five minutes and read the study. It did not suggest that the virus was not passed by asymptomatic people. It suggested that asymptomatic people might not be as contagious as symptomatic people.

So I said as much.

And then it was suggested that we all have different interpretations. We all have different opinions.

And my response is… nope.

That’s not the way science works.

Science tells us that the virus is contagious when people are asymptomatic. That’s science. That’s fact. My opinion on this this is irrelevant.

You can be hanging out with your friends and family and be carrying the virus and have no idea. You can be going to church and be carrying the virus and have no idea. This is the way this particular virus works.

You can have it and have no idea.

That is fact.

That is why we have to be vigilant. That is why we have to adhere to strict measures by our churches and others who are trying to open for us. That is why we have to do our part to protect those who may not be as healthy as we are.

It’s not rocket science.

And if I can figure this out, anyone can.

The Study

Irony. Memorial Day 2020.

Here’s irony.

Memorial Day 2020.

Remembering the sacrifice of those who came before.

Meanwhile, here we are, facing our own sacrificial moment, and folks are complaining. Complaining about wearing masks. Complaining about not being able to go out. Complaining about being told what to do to keep others alive.

And the real irony is that the ones who will be kept alive if we sacrifice are the ones who sacrificed so much for us so many years ago.

That’s irony.

Memorial Day 2020.

Reopening Churches

Once again, I wrote a long impassioned post about churches reopening, and then I deleted it.

This is just so complicated, and this thing of churches opening up has me at my wit’s end.

On the one hand, certainly the president is pandering. Right? He knows he needs the evangelical Christian vote to get re-elected. Making the sort of announcement he made today will help make that happen. There can be no doubt this is a pandering move. No doubt.

But on the other had, people leading churches aren’t stupid. People leading churches know the importance of opening the right way. They aren’t going to just open up and say, “Come on all! It’ll be just like it was before the virus! Come in and sit together and hug and pretend like it never happened!”

But it just seems so reckless. Even with precautions taken.

You need to understand my perspective. Y’all are still in days 50 and 60 of this thing. We were in the 90’s before we even thought about re-opening schools with incredibly strict procedures in place, and it still seemed too soon.

I can’t imagine any church reopening this weekend would be nearly as strict as what we’ve done in our school.

And you’re still in the heat of it. You’re still getting new cases every day in the US. We hadn’t had any new domestic cases in weeks when we started reopening.

And still, the president is encouraging you to reopen churches.

It just seems so reckless. It seems like pandering.

And from a distance, I’m at my wit’s end.

The Other Side is Coming

How are you doing with all of this?

How are you doing with all of this global pandemic that who would have thought that we would experience in our lifetime but really we all kinda figured this was coming because everything that was going on seemed to indicate that something else is around the corner asteroid collision alien invasion zombie apocalypse robots taking over etc etc etc.

This pandemic is so weird. Hollywood told us that this sort of thing would be exciting and scary and blood spurting and riots and chaos and mayhem and all.

But this is sitting at home and social distancing and flattening the curve and watching Netflix and wearing surgical masks and hand sanitizer.

So, how are you doing with all this?

It’s sort of mind-numbing, isn’t it?

That’s not something Hollywood prepared us for… the mind numbingness of it all. Mind numbing? It’s hard to capture that in a 90 minute movie and keep the audience interested. The Hero’s Journey doesn’t have a “the hero sits at home and tries to wait it out” section.

It’s strange, how reality doesn’t seem to be as much like fiction in this situation.

Reality says that sitting at home waiting it out can be harder than you’d think could be.

Reality says that sitting at home waiting it out can be pretty depressing.

Reality says that sitting at home waiting it out can take you down dark roads to dark places.

So, how are you doing with all this?

I hope that you aren’t falling into some sort of pit. There are lots of pits you know. They are sprinkled all around us like a minefield. The hero’s journey got that part right.

But I hope you’re avoiding them.

Because here’s the thing. Regardless of where you are and what you are going through and how you’re dealing with this, the goal is to get to other side.

And there is an other side.

All of this… this pandemic… the social distancing… the isolation the worry the fear… they aren’t a permanent thing. They’re only here for a bit, and then before you know it, we’ll be there.

The other side.

The other side will be different, for sure. But it’ll be the other side. We will have crossed. And the crossing, even in Hollywood hero’s journey movies, is always the hardest part. We’re crossing, but the other side is waiting for us.

And so, I hope you’re staying course. I hope you’re extending grace to yourself and those in your circle. I hope that you’re okay.

I hope that we’ll meet there, on the other side.