To say it’s a time of great upheaval might be a bit of an understatement these days.
Economic devastation, coronavirus cases on the rise, social upheaval the likes of which haven’t been seen for decades, and a general sense of foreboding about what might happen next . ... If 2020 was a movie, many of us would have stopped watching a long time ago and looked for something lighter and more uplifting.
Remember in the movie “Back to the Future” when Marty McFly keeps using the adjective “heavy” to describe what Doc Brown is telling him? While Doc didn’t understand the term, those who have endured the opening months of 2020 so far certainly understand the definition of “heavy” times.
It’s no overstatement to say that the anxieties of the world — and fear of uncertainty — is probably at an all-time high for many people. But for better or worse, these are the times that we live in. Trying to hide from them won’t change things, nor will ignoring them. And certainly, the worst thing to do is to allow the fear to run rampant and take control. It’s obvious that we are not in control of the world around us, but there are some things that are vital to our wellbeing that we can choose to focus on.
Faith, family and friends are what will sustain us, and I list them in that order for a reason.
Friends, while important, can move away or priorities can change for various reasons, and what was once a close friendship may grow more distant.
Family is very important, but disagreements on issues, or physical distance, can impact family dynamics. It’s sad — but important to recognize — that some people do not have families to rely on. Those who are blessed with close families can rejoice and be thankful. But others do not have that foundation. Whether family members have passed away or chosen to distance themselves for some reason or were abusive and not a healthy part of one’s life, family isn’t a source of comfort, hope and strength for everyone.
Faith — keeping one’s hope in the unseen and trusting that, even in the swirling whirlpool of chaos, God is in control and that in the end things will be made right — is a sustaining factor that offers true stability when the things and people of this world are a chaotic mess.
Finding a solid rock in a world of shifting sand — and peace that passes understanding — is not some myth. People can choose or not choose to believe, and that is their right and privilege. But for those of us who rely on faith, it is one of the few unshakable areas of life right now.
There’s certainly not a firm foundation in job security, as we have seen with unemployment figures. Jobs are definitely a blessing, but nothing is guaranteed, and in this day and age that seems to be more true than ever.
Trusting in government to rescue us is also a big mistake. While we hope that government has our best interests at heart, we can see from many past experiences throughout history that it’s not always the case. All leaders are human and have shortcomings as well as strengths, and there is no such thing as a perfect government solution or perfect government leader who can make everything right. If any person ever claims to have all the answers — that all you have to do is put your trust in them to bring about “the bright new dawn of a glorious age of humanity” — my advice is to run like heck. No human being has the ability to solve all the world’s ills.
That brings us back to faith. But don’t take my word for it — explore it for yourself. You just might find that you have a blessed assurance and a peace that passes understanding. If it’s not for you, fair enough, it’s certainly not a path that everyone will choose.
But for those willing to open their eyes and their hearts, the results can be absolutely transformational, and finding hope in a sea of turmoil is definitely worth pursuing.
Jeff Osborne is the editor of the News of San Patricio and Refugio County Press and can be reached at 361-364-1270, or at josborne@mySouTex.com.