These are the Days to Remember
by Dr. Grant Scarborough
Emotions are everywhere at my house. Life is changing right in front of us. I have a child mourning the loss of soccer season, prom, friends and school. I have another so excited to be out of school, she is not sure what to do. A friend of my daughter’s friend flying off to a national park in the west and we have another friend who has filled up his car with gas and bunkered down. We bought some extra meat to freeze and cans to have around the house in case it got bad. Then realized we spent all our money, so now we need to eat what we bought in case of an emergency.
I even heard they started playing the old REM song on the radio again, “It’s the end of the world as we know it.” Well if this is the end, then we better go out holding on to as much toilet paper as possible.
Over the last week, I have checked every news source a thousand times. There is a case here, and one over there. CDC, WHO, and the President have all spoken and given advice. For the sake of our physical health, we do not meet in groups larger than ten, only pick up food to go, socially distance ourselves from others and the list goes on. I have even read a few articles about how to survive in isolation: binge watch a few shows, pull out Monopoly to play with the family, and sing opera out your window.
But what about our own soul care?
Yesterday I was reading in First Peter and came across a verse that started like this, “the end of all things is at hand…” Huh? I was intrigued. I don’t think this is the end of the world, but in the midst of this viral outbreak I felt this might be significant. I often like to read the words in a different translation called The Message and I think it is a good word to remember:
1 Peter 4: 7-11 Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and He’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
Peter goes into bullet point mode. The end is at hand, everything is about to be wrapped up, so…
- Love each other
- Feed the hungry
- Be generous
- Speak God’s words
- Help Others
In doing these things, Peter says, God will be glorified.
But the more I read the passage (please go back and read it again), my bullet points are lacking. There is a certain passion and urgency my bullet points missed. Let’s try again:
- Pray – “stay wide awake in prayer”
- Love each other – “as if your life depended on it”
- Feed the hungry – “be quick about it”
- Be generous and cheerful about it and spread it around so “all get in on it”
Do you see Peter’s passion in this? He says that the end is near, so love, pray, be kind to all – be all in. Do this today, and do it for others. Go! Be quick about it! And God will get the credit as the one Mighty in everything!
I met with a friend the other day who encouraged me. He said that in the midst of this crisis, it is a moment in time where Christ can shine. “What can we do?”
What can we do? I think Peter had great advice and I think as a doctor I will pass it on to you.
For your soul care my prescription is to gather your family and pray, love each other, serve, be generous, speak God’s words and help others in need – as if your life depended on it (Peter would want me to add this passion to my list). Through this God will be glorified and you will make a difference.
And maybe, just maybe, once this crisis is diverted, and normalcy has returned. Maybe we will not forget what we have learned about praying, loving others, feeding the hungry, and speaking God’s truth. Maybe this crisis is reminding us how to be Christian again.
The chapter ends by encouraging us to entrust our “souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” May we trust and do good now and the next day and the next season so that we can glorify God and be truly human.