Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu and The Things That Matter to You

Education is good, but too much information- which can come through education- might be overwhelming. If you want to be an informed, upstanding good citizen, you should listen to the nightly news. If you want to be sane, sober minded and healthy with peace and perspective, you might not want to listen to the nightly news- at least not listen to it too much. It's a coin toss, really.

Wow, what a ride we are having in this nation. It's been a roller coaster. Between the upheaval in the economy, the drastic downturn in the stock market, the escalating unemployment rate, the horrific housing market, and now the threat of swine flu, we are all asking ourselves if we mistakenly woke up in the middle of a nightmare! And if that is the case, it seems we're trying to find a way to get back to restful sleep so that we can possibly wake up in a better part of this dream. When will things get better? Can they get better?

I'm not a medical expert, and I'm not a financial seer, and I'm not a prominent government leader with power to make some fast concrete changes that would affect the masses, so I may not seem to be anyone you should listen to. And you shouldn't listen to me if I speak from my own insight and human perspective.

But let's just see if we can tap into the great mysterious underground of God's Wisdom and Love and see if we can find something very concrete to stand on here. Nobody is looking for another Kum-by-ya song or some rote prayer or some foolish human proclamation of peace when there is no peace. It seems we're all looking for the most concrete, most grounded thing we can stand on- at least in these times.

This is not what we were looking for years ago. Years ago what we were looking for was an exhilarating ride into greatness or wealth. We were looking for fast trips and luxury and more and more things to satisfy our longing for More. Some of us were looking for career advancement, recognition. Some of us were looking for romance or for Mr. Right- and the T.V. show, The Bachelor, became a great fun way to vicariously help someone find their true love. In years past, rock solid BORING stability was not what we were looking for.

But that's what many of us are looking for now. Peaceful days. A Cook out with true friends and loved ones by our side. A glance at our kids and a sigh of relief that they're all healthy and safe. A look at our bank account and a feeling of peace that there's enough- not much- but enough, enough to pay bills. A job to go to- never mind it being a great job or having a promising future. These are the things that we are finally content with. And we're content with these simple things, now, because we're in scary times. And scary times make people take inventory of what is the most needed in their life.

I think, then, that we might possibly be in the best of possible times- only because we are grounded into reality, called upon to take an account of our life and of what is true and what is necessary and what is loved; only because we are experiencing tremors and rumblings and de-stabilizing events and so we want the most rock solid thing that we can find now. We want Stability. We want Strength. We want Security... and where is it??!

It's Here. HE IS here, I should say. God is with us.

God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
the tremors that shift mountains.

Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
God-of-Angel-Armies protects us. Psalm 46:1-3

I love how Brenda Waggoner brought up a powerful quote from Oswald Chambers, in her book Fairy Tale Faith: "Oswald Chambers says that if we are to have 'staying power during the alarm moments of life,' we have to be grounded in God's basic truths." We are experiencing the "alarm moments of life." Right now.

Well some of us have been spouting off Bible quotes about God's love for years, some of us have been writing about how God is Powerful and that we should believe in Him, and some of us have been aware that there is a God who created the world and that He supposedly is Able to Keep us From Falling- but now we are going to have to live those beliefs as purposefully and intently as a marathon runner trains and zeros in on that last mile.

We've got to be pit bulls of the Faith, not pampered and spoiled poodles. We've got to laugh in the face of danger, not at any one's misfortune and not because we are insane or foolish- but because when our laughter rings out, by faith, God laughs too. Joy electrifies a troubled situation. Peace permeates the prison and the locked doors split open. People walk out into the sun shine and declare they are not going to be afraid. Not while they know the most amazing truth that God not only will reign and be Strong- but that He will reign in their life and be Strong on their behalf.


Anonymous said...

Lauren - loved your post. What a great reminder for us in these troubled times that can shake us. We have a wonderful Heavenly Father who is unshakable!!! Praise God!


Annie said...

When I am plugged in to God, nothing can stop the flow of electricity passed from above. And when I am sparked, I am able to shed some light, instead of doom; gracefully and graciously live in the moment and praise the Lord for every thing in my life. I don't need a news flash to know anything is possible when Christ stands beside me. Although it sure would be nice to hear and see more stories of positive things going on today. I wonder how different we would all be if the news was loaded with optimism instead of bad news and gloom.