These Coronavirus days sometimes have me a bit bewildered. I can’t quite figure out how to process all the information. And voices everywhere are leading me to think or feel differently:
“This virus is still dangerous, take it extremely seriously.”
“COVID-19 is nothing serious, be mad at those who’ve let it disrupt society.”
“Life is going to be disrupted for a long time, get used to it.”
“There’s hope of a coming vaccine, look forward to it!”
“Don’t stand for the government telling you you’ll need another vaccine!”
“People are dying, front-line workers are putting themselves at risk, these are heavy days.”
“This is all a conspiracy, be critical of everything.”
“Get excited about life going back to normal soon!”
“Don’t let anyone fool you, we have a long way to go.”
And so on, and so on…some voices are hopeful, some are discouraging, some are confusing, some are simply opinions, some claim to come with facts…all are pretty loud.
So how is one to feel with all this information coming at them? How do we process it all? What voices should we listen to?
In one sense, I do not know! I do know we shouldn’t be ignorant, and we should know what’s going on, at least enough to make wise decisions when there are decisions to make (Should we wear masks? Should we heed every government recommendation or “mandate”? Should we gather with people? How much and when? etc.). And we should be educated prayer-ers (no, that’s not a real word). And to do all that, we need to think carefully about the sources we listen to, we should do our research, and most importantly, we should ask God for wisdom (James 1:5).*
But on another level, I guess the reality is, we don’t have to figure it all out. We certainly don’t have to try to determine the motives of those calling the shots (no vaccination pun intended. haha). We definitely don’t have to formulate our own opinions on how we’d run the show if we were in charge. We don’t have to follow every news articles, or every new piece of information.
I remember early on, I did follow as much news as possible. In a sense, I wanted to figure it all out. That eventually got old…but not only that, I knew I could use that time better. I mean, think about it: I could end up spending 50+ hours becoming an expert on the happenings of COVID-19 or I could spend 50+ hours on faithfulness — doing the things I know I’m supposed to do, learning more, growing more, praying more, training my children, doing some proverbs 31-like domestic duties, I could encourage others, and I could look for ways to make a difference in people’s lives. I think the latter option sounds a bit wiser, don’t you?
So perhaps the question shouldn’t be, “How do we process all the voices out there?” But rather, “How do we tune them out a little more?” For most of us, the voices quickly become distractions if we let them. Unless you have any major Corona-related decisions to make in the next 12 hours, you probably have a lot of normal-life faithfulness that should keep you plenty busy. And you will probably do more of what you should do better if you can turn the general volume of society down a bit.
Again, there’s a place for research, but we should balance today’s voices with what the voices will be saying in 150+ years — ya know, the voices of those who’ve experienced eternity. Your own voice when you reach eternity. All of the opinions related to the year 2020, even the facts related to 2020, won’t be all that important. What we will care about is whether we maximized this season (like any other season), to please the Lord as best we could.
All that to say, listen to the voices thoughtfully…and maybe listen to them a little less. Learn what you need to learn… then get back to doing what you need to do, and do it the best you can.
Basically, prioritize becoming more of an expert on faithfulness, rather than an expert on the Coronavirus. In 150 years, I think you’ll be glad you did.
*When the voices you listen to lead you to feel differently than others do, that can create a whole new set of problems. My pastor taught from Romans 14 this weekend, addressing this issue. It’s worth a listen! You can find it here.