We live in a perplexing and distressing time.
Most of our brain space seems to be given over to thinking about, and talking about, “the virus.”
This is right and appropriate. Yet in the midst of the crisis, we must continue to do life as normally as we can.
One of the things that is regularly popping up on my social media feed is an essay by C S Lewis called “On Living in the Atomic Age.” It was first written in 1948.
Lewis was addressing a fretful audience, who were living in the immediate aftermath of World War II. They had witnessed a nation use atomic weapons for the very first time. People were scared and they had every right to be.
Nevertheless, Lewis challenged his audience not to exaggerate the situation, not to overthink it.
Indeed, he gets quite pointed in the essay when he says this:
the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
In the face of profound threat, we need to be aware, but we also need to keep going. We have to keep putting our kids to bed, taking out the rubbish, exercising when we can. And we do have to keep hearing from God in his word – not just playing find-a-verse for this moment – but expecting that God will continue to speak through any and all parts of Scripture, into every part of our lives.
Please join me over the next week as we explore lessons we can learn from the Apostle Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, to help us keep going, with courage and in faith.
Prayer: Creator God help me to learn from C.S. Lewis, and others who have gone before us. My strength is in you. Help me to manage the risks associated with the pandemic, but not to let it dominate my mind or that of my family. For it is in you that I find my hope and certainty, Amen.