It’s the end of the world as we know it… and we’ll be fine (can crisis beget progress?)

Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus… – Philippians 2:3-5

Jesus: “This is how it is for those who hoard things for themselves but aren’t rich toward God…” – Luke 12:21

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Author Derek Maul lives and writes in North Carolina

I think it’s true to say that none of us instinctively “like” or welcome change. We get used to life as we know it, we make adjustments for what imperfections there are, and we settle in. We learn to navigate, we shift our expectations, sometimes we compromise. We do not like our status quo to be threatened.

But change is not necessarily or always a negative. Sometimes good change gets squeezed through with the stuff we don’t want. History has demonstrated time and again that crisis typically begets progress.

So I have this unreasonably positive gut-level belief that these remarkable COVID-19 circumstances – events that have forced the entire planet to reassess pretty much everything – are also going to set in motion responses that may well heal this world and save us all.

I know, that does sound kind of preposterous, doesn’t it? But stay with me on this, and let me talk through a couple of ideas.

  1. First, we have already been forced to innovate. We have been hit hard with something absolutely unprecedented and we are getting creative because, well, that’s what humans do.
  2. Then (and I think this cannot be underestimated) our collective vulnerability, our consummate fragility as a human race sharing one planet has been revealed – and I hope and pray that this is a revelation that brings us together rather than leads to the mutual exploitation of weakness. But think about it, this situation is not the might of one nation threatening the rest of the world, but something beyond the control of any one of us, an invisible microscopic virus capable of crippling humanity without regard to nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion.
  3. Lastly, no one can deny any more that something fundamental must change. The age of excess, of greed, of unbridled consumption, and of waste absolutely has to come to an end or we ourselves will come to an end. We are the architects of our own doom and it must stop!
    • What if we continue to pretend climate change is nothing but an exaggeration until rising water is lapping at the steps of our own house?
    • What if we ignore the growing divide between the richest and the poorest until a dangerous social tipping point is finally reached?
    • What if we continue to spend money we don’t have and squander resources that are not sustainable without regard to the cost we are passing on to our grandchildren?
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“Stock” web photo – not someone I saw!!

The sad but colorful illustration of all this is that of panic buying in the grocery stores. When people grab all they can right now, even perishables that will spoil before they can use them all, they are creating the exact critical shortage they feared.

We live in a “Mine! Mine! Mine!” culture, when “Ours! It belongs to us all! We can only survive if we share!” is the way we were created by God, designed to live in selfless community.

And so the important question becomes, “Will we allow this crisis to precipitate the kind of change we must embrace if we are to survive?”

But God said to him, ‘Fool, tonight you will die. Now who will get the things you have prepared for yourself?’ This is the way it will be for those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God.” – Luke 12:13-21

“Those who hoard things for themselves and aren’t rich toward God…”

I believe this is an amazing opportunity. Let’s not see it go to waste – DEREK

 

2 Comments

  1. Armin Harrell

    There is a good chance you are correct, they are hoarding, but there is also a chance it is going to a “lunch for school kids” program or a food pantry. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. derekmaul

      Good point…. that may explain one or two of them. But those programs already exist and the stores manage to keep up with regular stocking.
      I believe the grocery store managers need to be more proactive in not allowing this to happen. Shouldn’t be difficult to get ahead of the panic and develop appropriate policy.

      Like

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