We are now about eight weeks or so into this COVID -19 thing.
After all, I am not really sure anyone really knows what is going on, and we probably never will. However, this has been the motto I have lived by most of my life, “Just ride the wave.”
Be self controlled, be alert and keep your head up. I was reflecting early on concerning the difficulty of the stay-at-home order. If there is one thing our culture does not do well it would be, “stay at home.”
As I think about this, I remember the outrage people had.
Some people flooded the parks; it was more like a vacation. Some were outraged over the actions of others.
I have a relative who went into a grocery store in another state, and upon his entrance, an employee said, “ Excuse me, sir, you can not enter this store without a mask.”
My relative responded, “I don’t have a mask, and there is nowhere to buy them.”
The employee said, “Well, if you sign this paper right here saying you have an asthmatic condition you may enter.”
The paper had a line for his name, address, phone number and social security number.
My relative replied again, “I do not have an asthmatic condition, and I am no longer shopping at your store.”
I am sure you have a million stories of weirdness that you have heard or experienced in the last eight weeks.
I myself have felt, at times, in the past eight weeks, while shopping for our child food program, I have taken my life into my own hands.
We serve approximately one thousand meals a week, and almost every week while shopping, I have had someone in the grocery store confront me about how many loaves of bread I was buying or why do I need all that fruit?
My favorite was the gentleman, who wanted to know, “Who in their right mind needs two cases of bananas?” I did not respond; however, I wanted to say; “I am not in my right mind because I was raised by apes!”
We have had milk shortages in the stores while hearing farmers had so much milk they were dumping it.
The price of beef has gone sky high, and the stores claim there are shortages. While ranchers refuse to sell their cattle because the price at market is so low.
You may be asking yourself what is my point?
Here is the point, be patient with people because none of us have ever experienced a pandemic before.
Not every person, who has a full shopping cart at the store, is a hoarder. In fact, that full shopping cart may be part of the glue that has held your community together.
Don’t be upset with your pastor for not having church in the building.
If you are disappointed by his/her lack of faith don’t be. You are in his spiritual care, and he has a mandate given to him by the Lord to keep you safe. So, pray for him/her. Encourage your pastor. Our pastors are working hard to navigate their churches through this.
Oh, and one more thing while I am on this, be kind to your local health department and local C.D.C. They are not your enemy; they have been working around the clock for months now to keep us all safe and to give us the correct information we need to stay safe and healthy. They are leading the way without any money budgeted to them to do so, which just seems odd.
We are headed back to some type of normality.
So, here are some things to ponder while we continue on this journey.
As believers, we are not to operate in the flesh.
Philippians 1:27 says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”
We are always to respond in a way that honors Christ even if we appalled.
Paul continues this thought in Philippians, chapter 2, verse 3 and 4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. “
And, last, but not least, keep your eyes on Jesus. Be patient, be full of hope and be reasonable in all situations and with all information. Our God will see us through.
Have a great weekend, and to all the moms, happy Mother’s Day.
Dave Truncone is the pastor of First Assembly of God Church in Van Buren. He and his wife, Heidi, have been married 26 years. They have two daughters, Hannah, 20, and Abigail, 16. They have lived in Van Buren for nine years.