One of the things we are hearing in the midst of this pandemic is people wanting to take the time to really consider their lives, their choices, and their perspective.
New York is now the “epicenter” of the pandemic and there are all sorts of stories about what is happening in the city. We saw an article about a train being set on fire. There was one about how New York is so empty, there is nobody on the streets and subway cars are empty. Of course, the very next one was about how New Yorkers aren’t social distancing properly and showed crowded subway cars and many people on the streets.
All of these are true. They are all part of the story. It is very hard to paint an entire picture in one brief stroke of the pen. When we hear only part of the story, we assume we are seeing the entire narrative.
The entire story about what is happening in New York today is, like always, complicated. There are people serving and people taking advantage. There are met and unmet needs. There is hope and despair. There are people singing from their windows and people robbing one another.
The hard truth is that every day we face complicated, strange and mysterious realities. Every day, we have to choose.
There are forces in both the physical and spiritual world that make life dangerous, fragile, and confusing. But these forces are not the last word on our existence.
What Perspective Will You Choose?
The true center of this situation is not geography or statistics. The heartbeat of this day is about choice. Our decisions are the epicenter of the pandemic. What choices will we make? What perspectives will we choose?
Every day, including the day you will never remember and the day the NBA shut down, is an opportunity to make choices. And our fundamental choice is this: in whom (or what) will we place our trust.
Circumstances are an invitation. They welcome us into an awareness of how fragile and out of control we really are. This, ultimately, is not a cause for fear. It is a reality check. It awakens us to the truths we too casually ignore when things are “good” or “normal”.
There is so much to concern us. There is also so much to be thankful for. The transcendent truth through it all is that we have choices to make and they matter. There are consequences for the decisions we make, repercussions for our perspectives, both for ourselves and for the people around us.
There is power in a pause. A deep breath. To remember the choices set before us and to examine where our trust is placed.
You are in the epicenter of this pandemic. You have to decide what you are going to say, think, and do. You have to decide how to spend your days, how to share your stories, and which narratives are true.
The circumstances are tragic. But they are, nonetheless a mirror and an invitation. And an opportunity. After all, historically speaking, tragedy is a fertile ground for revival.