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Stop, Look, and Listen

A Biblical Approach to Re-Entry During This Pandemic

Submitted by

Rev. Leona Nicholas Welch

A new buzz term is making its way into the media today and threatens to find its place in conversations in which people exchange their ideas about when, why, and how to exit the Covid-19 quarantine and rejoin the world. The new term is Post Pandemic.

My initial response to this term was, and still is - really? I must have missed the memo that read: The Pandemic Is Over. For sure, in order to enter a post era, something had to have ended, and there have been no such conclusive, scientific findings concerning Covid-19 and this pandemic.

Herein lies the conflict. The masks are coming off, the large gatherings are getting larger, and we are all being encouraged to go out and get back to life as usual. The feelings are mixed among us. Some move at break-neck speed to try to regain what was. Others move more slowly, measuring their pace, testing what is new; and still others ignore it all, remaining inside, holding out to see how it all goes.

Post Pandemic – a term that lulls, a term that invites haste, a term that puts us in danger of being catapulted into a sphere of euphoria that could send us spiraling back into a pandemic worse that the current one. What is a human being to do? Where lies the truth? How much is safe? And when is the right time to move out and enjoy life out in the open, breathing freely, and embracing those we love? How do we sort out the confusion?

This author does not purport to have the answers to these questions. I am no expert on this pandemic, but for sure, I know where to find help in facing the questions and preparing for whatever are the next steps. The direction I suggest is found inside the old cliched adage, Stop, Look, and Listen. I offer here a biblical perspective on this expression. Dear People of God, indeed, we look to God for the answers.

Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 45:10). God always has something to say to those who believe in him. The problem is, so often we are too busy trying to figure it out for ourselves, looking for answers in wrong places, and depending for solutions from the wrong people. It is no different with the questions that plague us about this pandemic and leaving quarantine. God is waiting for us to STOP right where we are and cease the probing, worrying about what is next. This is a be-still era of our lives. God sees. God knows. God cares. If we all stop long enough, regardless of what anyone is espousing, we would hear his instructions for us in the throes of this chaos. Just STOP!

So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober (1Thessolonians 5:6). While sitting in a quiet, still place with the Lord, we can be assured of maintaining a sober mind, alertness, and a deep sense of awareness concerning those things that would normally keeps us awake with worry, at night. It is amazing, the clarity that we obtain in God’s Presence. Quietly look around. Take note for yourself. Step cautiously, and plan deliberately. Pay attention to what is going on around you. You are spending time in God’s Presence. Surely, He will open your eyes to how you should handle yourself in this opening up of our world. Surely, He will point out your path. Just LOOK!

Whoever belongs to God, hears what God says(John 8:47). Things should be getting better at this point. You are still before God. You have stopped. You are in His Presence, allowing Him to show you His plans for you in this continuing pandemic. You are watching. And now, you can hear what He has to say. Just LISTEN!

God would speak to this country if this country would listen. He would speak to our communities if our communities would listen. God would speak to our individual hearts, if only we would listen. God is not happy with what we are going through. He is compassionate and He loves us so. He would take us under his wings like a mother hen. as He longed to do in Jerusalem, if we would let Him (Matthew 23:37). All we must do is STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN.

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