Governor Ivey released the first of this week her recommendations for the next phase of our state’s reopening. Titled, “Safer at Home,” the Governor’s new order is a responsible and gradual approach to enabling activities in Alabama to get back up and running. While her order no doubt comes as a great disappointment to many who would have preferred to see our state return to a way of life we enjoyed just two months ago (though it seems much longer), I think she acted wisely…and even faithfully. The public’s health must take precedence over everything, even something as important as our state’s economy.
Last week the President’s Coronavirus Task Force came out with a three-phased plan to “Open Up America Again.” While not delving into specifics, the plan did offer clear guidelines to the nation’s governors in order to assist them in filling in the details that might get our country’s economy back up and running once again.
Growing in our understanding of Easter faith is a challenge we Christians face every post-Resurrection Sunday. Because we put so much emphasis on that particular day and those leading up to it (as well we should), we tend to breathe a sigh of relief when Easter Sunday is over, grateful that we accomplished all the tasks that go along with such a signal celebration. What we too often fail to keep in mind, however, is that Easter is much more than a single day on the calendar; it is instead a way to live our faith throughout the year, especially in those seasons where we experience significant headaches and heartaches.
This year’s Easter celebration will be, without a shadow of a doubt, a most unique one. Normally, we celebrate Easter with one of the largest worship gatherings of the year. Everyone is dressed in his finest. The church is brimming with lilies. The choir is at its best, proclaiming the Easter message in all of its glory.
Pain is one of the things healthy human beings do their best to avoid. None of us goes looking for it, in all likelihood because we know that it will eventually come our way. Pain is unavoidable in the course of this life.
In times like these we do well to open ourselves to new forms of learning. You’ve probably already stretched yourself in more ways than you ever thought you’d attempt. But the alternative, of course, is to stay mired in your rut, a fate that is far moreworse now than ever, and let the rest of the world pass you by.
It’s been years since I was stuck in a Statistics class in college, where I struggled to wrap my mind around modes and medians and standard deviations. I eventually got the hang of each of those statistical realities.But the one that made the most sense to me immediately was the concept of the “Bell Curve.” Simply put, a curve of that kind represents a normal distribution of variables that distinguishes between the best and worst, with the largest percentage of variables being occupied by the average.For those of you who remember begging your college professor to “grade on the curve” yet had no idea what you were talking about (other than not to grade you by the percentage of correct answers), if the professor was agreeable, that’s how she or he made those determinations.
Wouldn’t you know that as we approach the infamous Ides of March that our planet is having to contend with a pandemic that has everyone on the edge of his seat, one that is about as far away from the next person as we can possibly get? The experts in the public health community refer to this tendency as “social distancing," and commend it as one that is in everyone’s best interest to practice.
In the midst of presidential elections and Daylight Saving Time (which is this Sunday, March 8, by the way), the topic on everyone’s mind is COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus. It certainly has been on mine. Part of it, of course, is my concern for my own health. But the larger part is my concern for how we manage the situation at church, much as other places where people gather in significant numbers on a regular basis have to do.
How is that some people seem so prepared to barge through open doors while others of us find them slamming in our face? Clearly, our level of readiness has something to do with whether or not we make it through those passageways. Some people seem never to miss those moments of opportunity, while others only know them after someone else has taken advantage of them first.