Rising in what is now the dark of early morning, I wondered almost outloud, “Is it over yet?” No doubt, you know exactly what I mean. Are we done with the daily dreadful count of how many of us have died during the pandemic? Can we put away the masks – both the physical masks and the ones we use to pretend everything is all right. Can we safely resume our normal patterns of life, refresh our friendships, visit our loved ones, and go into public places without fear or worry or guilt? In a phrase, “Is it over yet?”
Of course, it is not over. The disruption of our lives continues. And, while we trust that at some future point all of this will end, we have no real idea when that will be. As one friend said, the worst investment he made this year was buying a 2020 planning calendar.
If you are a religious person, then you may well believe that God has all of this mess accounted for somehow. That there is a reason and purpose beyond our understanding that we must trust is in God’s hands. There are innumerable biblical passages that would support your views.
But, should you not be very religious or religious at all, then you may see the pandemic as yet one more example that demonstrates there is no such thing as the providence of God. That is, there is nobody watching over us and no one who will somehow make all of this right.
So, when you rise early tomorrow and it is still dark outside, which will it be for you? No, this is not all over yet, this pandemic. Can you live into it in faith or do you choose despair?
Rev. Dr. Gary S. Eller
President, Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation