By John Larkins
The uncertainty of possibly fatal consequences presents us with a situation in which we must make decisions having a wide range of stressful consequences. We must seek advice and guidance on courses of action that have medical and even life and death, outcomes for ourselves and our families and friends. The economic situations we face in most cases are grim, for there was no warning that our incomes might go away so quickly. Even if we do work, the medical risks seem significant.
We are tested in where to look for help. There is a similarity in the religious life we have chosen or should have chosen if we are old enough to support ourselves. In the larger decision, we know (or have been told) that we will certainly die someday. This “someday” time frame lulls us into complacency that could be regretted. A classical warning that might apply is: “Life is short, think of death.” Human beings throughout time have sought a higher power to seek help in avoiding suffering on earth, and, if the person believes in eternal life, in the afterlife.
The Christian God revealed in the Bible may be a Way to consider for most of us in the short run, seeing as how we are not likely to all die of the virus, whereas we certainly in time will die, as is our nature. The Christian God loves humans so much that he created us and has, at great cost, provided a choice for us to prosper in eternity. God gave us an “owner’s manual” that was abbreviated in the Ten Commandments to generally solve our operational problems here on earth. Have you thought of these rules as merely oppressive restraints on your freedom? For example, “You shall not murder (other humans).” Would you not agree that if all of us ignored this rule all of us would be in constant danger? Some of the commandments are the basis for criminal law, such as, “You shall not covet.” It avoids a lot of envy and discord over possessions, and disobeying this commandment is why many conflicts could be avoided. God provided an institution, His Church, to dispense His graces on earth and in heaven. God said, “My yoke is easy and my burden light.”
God understandably insists on us being obedient to Him and His rules. Since He has provided a universe in which we can use our free will to provide for all our needs, it seems fair that He should be in charge. God wants each of us to choose actions during our lives that demonstrate that we love Him and desire to spend eternity with Him. So, God told us when we die that He will judge us by our lifelong actions. What if you discover, at your death that there is no God and no eternity? Do you think that rejecting the rules for living a good life and loving a Creator will diminish your satisfaction in life?
On the other hand, suppose you reject the Redeemer in all ways. Then, for the first time, you are in His presence and justifying your life choices to Him.
Regardless of what happens with this current quarantine, Jesus’s love and guidance will give you the confidence you crave to face tomorrow. He will provide you what is needed. You will feel and express the gratitude to Him who loves you now and forever. You will know that you are a created child of God and not the mere pawn of a government. Say “hello” to the Father!
John Larkins was born in Oklahoma to an U.S. Army family. His education was in the Catholic Church and teaching in the United Methodist Church for 10 years. After 50 years of various positions in federal service at home and in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, John and his wife Carol live in Gadsden. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.