Looking back at this last year is like tumbling down the rabbit hole, waking up from the Matrix, or walking through Mordor with Gollum; interpret that however you like, but it’s been rough — no matter which side of the ring one finds themselves.
If one is among the overly cautious and fearful about a virus, one is probably annoyed by the push back of the social ‘control group’; if one is of the ‘control group’, then one is supremely disappointed in the “I love Big Brother” mentality of those doing as they’re told without asking reasonable questions or (more likely) the felt-infringement upon their rights because of the endless mandates.
Despite my own beliefs, it would be insensitive to deny the quandaries and difficulties of the present moment. Someone I cherished died, and it was listed as a Covid-19 death (whether I fully believe it); I have a friend who has lost two coworkers to Covid-19 now; and I have multiples of friends who got the virus, likened it to the flu, shrugged it off, and went on with their lives (many of them taking the heralded ivermectin and/or hydroxychloroquine to better themselves). In fact, the only people I know who have been seriously ill are the ones who’ve been forced to wear a mask for employment or the ones who chose to do that and more out of an abundance of caution. It’s difficult not to have a certain perspective when one considers such things.
I spent three days in a hospital with my child who broke a bone while bike riding last spring (as did many kids I hear!), in a supposed Covid-19 “hotspot”, never wear a mask unless forced, and, recently (but more than 2 weeks ago now), spent a week in and out of another ER and hospital facility when my husband suddenly needed surgery.
I’ve gone to church with and eaten dinner with friends who “just got over Covid”. And I’ve been detained by a store manager who couldn’t wait to tell me that face shields were no longer permitted (after an entire year of wearing one there because I had to wear something to enter) and informed me that I had to wear one of their paper masks (because this makes logical sense — paper beats plastic in the spit/virus world, thought-no-kid-ever…). All this, plus every public restroom I could find in the nearly 4hr roundtrip to follow-up appointments for my husband this year, and… no virus, not even a cold.
This leads to an opinion of side-eyes and raised eyebrows for me; it’s difficult not to think the world has lost its mind. The mainstream narratives are suspect, at best; dismal, at worst. And, if not for friends who seem to be experiencing otherwise (in one way or another), I’d be confined to thinking that I alone had emerged from this wonky Matrix, alive but perplexed by the invisible tyrant of fear stampeding the whole world over.
IF garlic oil pills, oil of oregano pills, and vitamin D supplements have kept me from contracting the virus, then the ‘pandemic’ has been grossly overstated and abused by a general misunderstanding about health. It’s been a ‘pandemic’ of a lack of preventative care more than anything under such a premise.
IF the grace of God has kept me and my family from it, then there is another kind of misunderstanding taking place; for we fully accept that our lives and deaths are in His hands and not in the hands of science. Perhaps, those who live are meant to live and those who die are meant to die… (You might notice that no one who believes in evolution mentions Darwin’s theory of ‘natural selection’ when viruses rampage the land…)
IF it’s a fluke, well, it becomes pretty hard to consider it a genuine ‘pandemic’. If anyone should have had it by now — with my lack of precautions — it’s me. Even still, I do consider it the graces of God on my behalf. (Don’t forget that I have been to the ER twice — but NOT for Covid — in the last year! Ha)
Let’s not even talk about vaxxing. That’s even more depressing, dividing, alarming, and perplexing. Much as those who didn’t believe in masks were forced to wear them to shop, so now some are feeling pressured to vax by employers who tell them they have to continue wearing the mask if they don’t get the ‘jab’. Where does the bullying stop?
And upon such subjects, it is plain to see that awareness is not knowledge and knowledge is not understanding and understanding does not always equate with wisdom. We all know a lot and knowledge might be power… or it could just be another way to start WWIII.
Because of these things, I gave up social media more than a year ago now. Because of these things, I gave up the daily news about six months ago. Because of these things, I find the pressing necessity to meditate on the Words of God. Because, let’s be real, if there is a Creator for mankind, then He is aware of, knows more, understands more, and is far wiser than we could ever boast; and His opinion of life is what I want between my ears, before my eyes, and in my heart. Because no one else’s ‘truth’ trumps His Truth.
So, alongside Christian Orientation, you will now find a Christian Devotion category on this blog. One is for dealing with life, the other for dealing in Life.
Join me, if you like, as I remember Jesus’ caution:
And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you–and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. Mark 4:24 [AMP]
What we choose to think about matters. In that spirit, we shall move on.
Daniel 12:4 | Devotion #1
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
While I believe we should never discredit the former generations’ intelligence for their day, it is undeniable that alongside the advent of radio, T.V., the internet, and a host of other technologies, knowledge (the general and specific kind) has greatly increased.
Note that the text speaks here of ‘knowledge’ and not wisdom. In our own day knowledge abounds alongside wickedness, but wisdom is scarce, though many do run ‘to and fro’ mistaking one for the other. The accumulation of knowledge cannot make one wise, and ‘awareness’ is the sycophant-cousin of a ‘know-it-all’, who teaches others ideologies with lip-service because he can’t do the job himself. Knowing is not understanding and understanding is not doing and, while Wisdom holds all of these keys, she also sometimes withholds them: That is wisdom too.
“Daniel, shut up the words… and seal the book…”
Wisdom doesn’t say all she knows. Wisdom doesn’t share all it understands. Wisdom doesn’t even act upon all awarenesses. (Well, the new ASANA commercial might even mistake her for an annoying “silo”…but I digress.) For the Christian, wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord and His (general and specific) commands:
Shut up the words, Daniel…
Seal the book, Daniel…
“Until the time of the end…”
What marvelous faith Daniel had to have to obey this command. The supposed King’s advisors I know of today would print that thing so fast, put it on Audible, YouTube, and Patreon, and try to make their two-minute fortune. Daniel surrendered his knowledge and understanding, his awareness of future events, the secrets he’d been handed for some other generation’s eyes to see, ears to hear, and hands to open! And Daniel, more than most, understood the fragility of powers, the coming and going of kingdoms, the sacking and rebuilding of nations! Even so, God reveals to him the end of days and then tells him to do nothing more with it. Write it down. Seal the book. Shut up the words.
What if this parchment is burned in a siege? What if the words are drowned by a flood? What if that end finds everyone who can read already killed by a reader-virus? Or no one who understands how to unseal the secrets of the book? No campaigns or crusades to stop these things from happening, Lord?!
But Daniel feared the Lord. He rested in peace.
“…for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of days” (v 13).
He rested knowing that God’s words are surer than the sun and moon. He rested knowing:
“Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand” (v 10).
The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.Psalm 25:14 [NKJV]
And so, we also have peace.