Day 15 – “QUESTIONS”

Day 15 – “QUESTIONS”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.

“QUESTIONS”

This probably won’t be a popular post (though I’m not quite sure how that would separate it from the others 😉).

So, I’ll just get right to it.

Questions are an interesting thing in our society.

When we’re little, we ask a lot of questions.

No matter which word wins the title of “first word” for us, the word “why” is usually not far behind.

The average toddler can probably out “why” anyone.

They’re able to rattle off so many whys in a given day that parents are just left stunned, speechless and exhausted.

It’s no wonder that the parental recourse is to squelch the questions with answers like “because” and the silent treatment (which doesn’t actually seem to work).

But one way or another, the ability to question is beaten out of us somewhere early in life and we resign to just accepting things.

Couple that with a culture that is increasingly closed to respectful back-and-forth and you it makes it even tougher to question… when those questions are frowned upon.

Questions For A Hypothetical Country In Quarantine

That’s why I’m not going to address my questions to our general public, but to a hypothetical country in quarantine… due to a hypothetical virus.

I’m sure you have plenty of questions as well. Here are some of mine… hypothetically…

Why did this all have to happen? Is there a conspiracy? Was it from a lab? Or just a random bat biting somebody and spreading?

Why is this time so different from other viruses and epidemics in the past?

What are the limitations of the state and federal government for dictating how we live, what closes and doesn’t, etc? I really had no idea it could happen like that with things just being forced to close in a snap.

What data and sources and models and research can you really trust as far as what the spread will actually look like?

If we were supposed to peak much higher and later and it looks like we actually have flattened the curve, what will the next steps look like? Can we begin to go back to things sooner?

I wonder what our country will look like a year from now? What will the after affects be from shuttered businesses and even from the stimulus bill that didn’t just come from nowhere?

Is it wrong to think that we need to try to get the economy and businesses back up and running sooner than later?

Is it wrong to think that you can ask that question and still care for the lives of those hit with the virus? I have two parents and a sister who would be vulnerable and I don’t want anything to happen to them, but I also want them to have a society six months from now that hasn’t been run into the ground.

Would anyone from February 2020 have ever believed where we would be in two short months?

When will CNN start just reporting on the news and not exclusively bashing everything Trump does? I’m not a big Trump supporter, but 90% of CNN alerts I see have his name in the title. Last I checked, there were things going on in our country and with the virus not involved with him.

Why did this have to happen to this years seniors (including my son Eli)?

Do schools have any chance of opening back up this year? What will happen to graduation? Will there be a tiny spring sports season or none at all?

When will professional sports return? What will they be like without fans? When will fans be able to return? How many?

I wonder how many small businesses won’t be able to make it out of this? How much talent and love and passion and vision and creativity will have been wiped out through this shutdown? Who will be able to pivot? Who won’t?

How many people thought that one day they’d be wearing a mask in public? At work? At the store?

When will they find a vaccine?

When will more testing be available? 

When will more antibody testing be available? If you test positive and can prove it, does that allow you to get back into normal life or be immune?

 

Why is it so hard to be civil in our society? If someone even speaks about starting the economy back up they instantly don’t care about all those who are dying. If someone is hyper about staying home, they don’t care about the economy.

 

One thing I hope we can all do better at is ask questions respectfully, offer what answers and ideas we have respectfully, and together move toward both keeping people safe and regaining our economic footing in this… hypothetical… country.

 

Day 14 – “UNSEEN”

Day 14 – “UNSEEN”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.

“UNSEEN”

There is a power in the unseen. A respect. An awe. And even sometimes a fear.

We can see this most notably right now with the Coronavirus.

There is the obvious devastation that the virus has brought on lives that it has taken or impacted from a health standpoint.

But possibly even more devastating for so many individuals and countries is the ripple effect caused by the necessary measures to keep the virus at bay.

Something that can’t even be seen with the eye is virtually bringing our entire globe to a halt.

Closures, unemployment, incredible economic fallout, extreme changes to the way life used to operate… all from something unseen.

 

The Power Of The Unseen

Along with the virus, this past week another unseen force has reared its head as well – wind.

It has been super windy this past week, in spurts, almost eerily so.

And every time I step out there in the wind it just amazes me how something can be so powerful and yet not be seen.

You see its worst effects through hurricanes and tornadoes, but heavy storms leave downed trees, lost power and all sorts of destruction in their wake as well.

Sometimes, we’re just so used to things that we lose our wonderment.

But I want to challenge you, the next time its really windy, to go out into your yard or a large field and just stand there, taking it in.

Let your childhood mind come back to you and be fascinated by the fact that something you can’t even see is trying to literally push you over.

It’s just amazing.

 

What Is Unseen Can Be Eternal

The more I continued to ponder the unseen, something else popped into my head as well.

It’s a great passage from the Bible that is a perfect fit for this time of the year as well as this time in history.

It’s from the book of 2nd Corinthians, chapter 4.

The author, Paul, is writing during a time of great hardship.

He talks about being hard pressed, but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair… struck down but not destroyed.

He goes on to talk about how Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope and to not lose heart.

But the part that really gets me is verse 18:

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

That’s a great reminder for us these days as well.

I can get way to caught up in what I can see around me and lose heart.

But what is unseen… a God who loves us… a future home awaiting us… and a power that transcends us… is eternal.

So, let’s stand in awe today of what we can’t see and trust in what can truly save us.

Day 13 – “CREATE”

Day 13 – “CREATE”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.

“CREATE”

Now is the time to create.

Whatever side passion you have, that was looking for time to grow — well, here it is.

You’ve been given an official invitation to get after it, to take the next step.

I think we’re going to look back on this moment and see it as the birth of so much creativity, innovation, art and expression.

Not only is there more time than we’ve ever had in our schedules to create, but there is more reason as well.

Everything is changing right now.

Out of necessity, yes.

But it is opening up eyes as to what is possible, not just for now, but for the future.

 

What Are You Creating?

What is your passion?

Is it art? Writing? Food? Music?

Maybe it’s something that’s been tucked away in your closet and you’ve always wanted to get back into it.

Why not now?

Get out that instrument. Dust off those paints. Start a new document on your computer and start writing.

Sometimes it takes something monumental like our current global situation to make us reassess and try something.

Or, maybe you’ve been plugging along for years, doing this thing on the side but never giving it the real attention it deserves.

Now is the time to invest in it, to nurture it, to share it.

I’ve loved watching so many ways that this has been happening.

The nightly online living room jam sessions from musicians.

Martial arts and fitness instructors going live, opening up opportunities to connect and share with people all over the world.

Writers writing. Comedians making us laugh. Artists creating sidewalk art to brighten days and encourage.

 

Get After It

So, whatever it is for you, I want you to seize this moment to take the next step with it and share it with others.

The world is looking for hope, encouragement, positivity, life-giving art.

We need what you have.

So make it a point to do what you need to do this week to put it out there.

It might make you nervous. You might be scared about what others will think.

But you have a charge to use your gift to better the world. It’s part of why it was given to you.

So write that post. Perform that song. Paint that picture.

With your style, your angle, your unique perspective.

Go create.

Day 12 – “RISE”

Day 12 – “RISE”

During the month of April, I’m writing 30 Words for 30 Days: Thoughts from Six Feet Away, one topic per day. Find out why here.

“RISE”

All great stories have that point in the story where everything seems lost.

The plan falls apart.

The hero is in trouble.

The villain escaped and is looking for lives to take.

Fear and despair have replaced hope.

Honestly, without it the great stories just aren’t that great.

What kind of story would Lord of the Rings be if Frodo and the Fellowship just waltzed on in to Mordor and tossed the ring right into the volcano without even a hint of orc.

What if Vizzini had never stolen the princess in The Princess Bride and Count Rugen had left Inigo’s father alone?

Imagine your favorite movie where there is no resistance, no turn to the story, no moment when you’re not sure how it will turn out?

Boring.

 

Into The Depths

For Jesus’ followers, the events that transpired from Thursday through Saturday were like that slow descent into despair.

The story that had seemed so hopeful even days earlier with His triumphant entry into Jerusalem had suddenly turned dramatically.

A new chapter had begun and it wasn’t looking good.

The hero had been killed.

His enemy was looking for souls to take.

The world wasn’t safe. There was nobody left to step in. It was hopeless.

When you watch a movie (unless you checked the run time), you really don’t know how much of the movie is left.

So when you get to that point in the movie, maybe it just ends that way or maybe it doesn’t. You don’t get to decide that or see into the future.

But as we look back on history, 2000 years later, we have the benefit of holding the book in our hands and seeing that there are still a lot of pages left.

What happens on those pages?

 

Out Of Thin Air

And that’s where it all changed. Easter Sunday.

The Author pulled something out of thin air that we never could have imagined in a million years.

Jesus was dead. Deceased. Finished.

It was final. He was in the grave, wrapped up, grave guarded and sealed.

Nobody comes back from that.

No one.

Especially not the one they had all hoped would save them. The plan must have gone wrong.

Except this time… this time….

This time, something happened no one could have imagined.

Man! I would have loved to have been there when the women who saw the empty tomb told the disciples.

The buzz around that whole place as they tried to understand something that just was outside the realm of possibility.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

 

Time To Rise

And yet that’s exactly how God chose to do it.

Jesus rose.

From the depths, He rose.

From death, He rose.

From despair, He rose.

In one fell swoop God re-framed what is possible.

From an empty tomb came a message that resonates with us even today.

Jesus understands our pain. He knows suffering. He’s been ridiculed, experienced loss, wept tears, felt abandoned.

That weight that we carry with us through each day. That stress that keeps us up at night.

He knows it all.

And with the power of one who has overcome death itself, He wants to come alongside us and give us a new hope and a new future.

Easter is a reminder that no matter how dark the night, we can rise.

No matter how dusty the ashes, we can rise.

No matter how great our mistakes, how deep our pain, how final our future… we can rise.

 

And though things look bleak in the world on this April 12th, 2020, we will rise.

It may be dark for a while. We may not know when the plot will turn. But it will. And He’ll be right there with us.

Happy Easter! He is Risen.