The wise person discerns the characteristic ways of human history and extropolates the future without needing to know precisely what comes next. When we hold a solemn agreement between one another, our actions are investments of our very being.
Our concerns are two-fold. We are concerned about personal survival, and we are concerned for public security. Choose life: justice, wholeness, freedom, security, responsibility. These five fold aspects of life need one another to be whole, to be complete. “Freedom” any other way is a fool’s dream, and rather lazy and irresponsible. Other than lazy thinking we could add mindfulness, creating a strong six stranded rope to hold onto.
Do you really think you are an autonomous agent who can do whatever you want? What past hurts, or imagined hurts, do you bear? Even five minutes ago is past tense. True spirituality calls us to do a personal inventory of our actions and reactions.
We quieten ourselves to move forward with a light set before us to tread more carefully with one another. Each day bears new opportunity to be more mindful and caring. Anger, anxiety, withdrawal are types of death, diminishing our gifts of life, light, and love.
We have more than enough grief. We are not tasked to wallow in it! It is time to embrace the light. Petulence is a type of death. It makes the mind and heart difficult to learn, to be taught. Shake off that dark mood and each time you come in from outside, wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soapy water and rise well. Wash your face. If you have reason to think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, change your clothes. Wash and rinse your outdoor clothes.
In the mid-twentieth century, indoor clothes for home was different from what you wore when going out. Usually you saved your best clothes to go out. Now, what clothes can you wash or hang up away from everything else for a couple of days before using it again? They become your going out clothes. Be free to use your brain. That is true freedom.
Strangely, some leaders are not following the admonishment from the proclaimer Ezekiel (ch 33, 1-6 NIV):
33 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, 3 and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, 4 then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. 5 Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’
The above is merely restating a truism. We are responsible for ourselves, and well as for others. Behave and speak responsibly. Not to choose is a choice in itself. You cannot escape being responsible for your own actions. When you want to take a thoroughly adverse stand “just because” you think this is your liberty, your freedom, you live in a fool’s paradise within your own head. Choose to live. Choose life. Re-enter a contract agreement with Life and living.
Without this life-breath of thoughtful living, our vested interests will shrivel away. Be involved. Be responsible.
The church is quite afraid of conflict; we are polite and cautious and often dishonest. Or we tend to be so concerned with personal feelings and involvements that we do not face issues. This in turn supports our infatuation with the status quo and prevents a serious engagement of history which is the scene of life/death conflict.Walter Brueggemann, Hosea: Tradition for Crisis, John Knox Press, Atlanta, 1968 M. Bratcher, p. 144.
We can see how disinformation is neither a right nor a freedom. It is time to keep our minds sharp and our bodies safe.