I have a confession. I ate a family size box of Fruit Loops over a three-day period – by myself!
Terrible! I know!
I must say, I have not exercised self control as I sit under this curfew due to COVID19 – the pandemic which has nearly brought the world to its knees. This Fruit Loops snack attack is not good for my health (loads of sugar) nor for my waistline (I hope I can fit in my clothes when it’s time to return to work)!
I also recognize the reason I kept going back to what really amounts to empty calories, was because I wasn’t full, but also because sugar is addictive.
It made me think: What else in your life amounts to empty calories?
At this moment, everyone simply wants the basic necessities of life, chiefly, food and water. Who cares about missing a New York & Co spring sale? Who cares about paying $80 for a makeover, when that could go towards grocery? And is that planned trip to Disney more important than keeping a roof over your family’s head when both parents have been laid off? The $200 you might have been saving for dinner with a friend, now needs to help your grammy stock up in these uncertain times.
The trappings of this life perhaps matter less to you by now. You may now realize that a lot of things we do are not necessary. They’re luxuries. I’m not saying don’t treat yourself. Don’t get me wrong. But in the grand scheme of things, if COVID19 hasn’t opened your eyes to the fragility of life and how it can be toppled over with little or no notice, I pray the scales be removed really soon.
Today, I hope you are a bit more thankful for the things which matter. Interacting with the talkative old lady in the pew behind you. Sharing a meal with a colleague. That hug from your gregarious nephew. Let’s thank God for the little things – the things often taken for granted!
May this lockdown be a time of reflection. And when it is over, may we emerge as a more loving, thoughtful, compassionate people.
Growing in Christ,
In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other thing which has caught the world’s attention like COVID-19 (coronavirus). This virus almost has a personality of its own. It slithers its way into airports and palaces, hopping onto buses and trains, waits in line at the mom and pop store on the corner, flys to every continent – except Antarctica – and makes its way into homes, from celebrities to the common man.
It seems to have one mission: Steal. Kill. Destroy.
In fact, today, I visited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website and saw the figure. An astonishing 23,495. That’s how many confirmed deaths from the coronavirus were recorded after 5 pm. At that hour, there was an overall 512,701 confirmed cases. From actor Tom Hanks and athletes to the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Britain’s Prince Charles, this virus does not discriminate. Nationality, gender, colour, social standing, education…none of this matters to the coronavirus.
More than ever before, people are exercising cleanliness. And I believe using hand sanitizer, washing our hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and infusing the atmosphere with Lysol are so embedded in our psyches that long after we have seen the coniving back of the coronavirus, many will still be exercising caution.
I can’t help but think though that the God whom we serve is BIGGER than COVID-19. We are reminded in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
And certainly these are times of concern. I won’t attempt to downplay that fact, as so many people are affected in many ways. In fact, someone recently said on social media, “Can we start 2020 over?”
This pandemic though is cause for us to pause and think of how unpredictable life is. When the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1st and fireworks lit up the skyline over a river in Frankfurt, Germany…when we were sending “Happy New Year” greetings via WhatsApp, who really was thinking about COVID-19? Who thought nations’ health care personnel and resources would be so stretched? Who dreamed we would be standing six feet apart in line at the grocery store and not be able to hug a friend or relative? It is proof that in one year, one month, one week, one day, one hour…within one minute or even the next second, life could take an unexpected, unpredictable, unprecedented turn that’s unpleasant.
But through it all, God is still in control. Psalm 107:29 says, “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.” He is the SAME God and through all of the panic, uncertainty and mounting deaths, he is saying to you…to me, the same three words recorded in Mark 9:39 – “Peace be still.”
Growing in Christ,
If you have never had your belly breakdown on you, perhaps you are not human.
Let’s be real: you’ve had AT LEAST one belly breakdown in your life – right? At least one.
Look, in recent weeks, I’ve been focusing more on allowing God to be glorified in my life as opposed to me. Trust me, it is EASY to glorify self. Just think about it the next time you take a “selfie.” It’s ALL about you. Let’s be real. And of course, you are entitled to do as you wish.
Whether you are the head of a nation, the CEO of a company, the richest kid in your class, someone who is making minimum wage, black, white, living in the suburbs or the inner city, we all are but flesh and blood. In fact, Job 19: 26 says, “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God…” It’s a riveting description and some might see it as offensive, but it’s reality. The rich, the poor and the middle class all meet at the cemetery. It’s that one, common meeting place. “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” ~ Genesis 3:19.
There is no doubt that one sickness, one disease, one accident…one belly breakdown and human beings could easily be humbled. However, I implore you to not wait for something drastic to happen to become humble. Choose today to recognize that your beauty, your hot body, your Louis Vuitton bag, those red bottom Christian Louboutin shoes, that Ivy league university degree, the money in the bank, your swag…they all shall come to nothing at some point.
As we are in the final month of the year 2019, standing on the precipice of not only a new year, but a new decade, let us seriously think about the importance of humbling ourselves in the sight of the Lord. One belly breakdown is enough to remind us that this body could easily disintegrate. Hence, don’t get caught up in the things of the world and of the flesh and forget that the breath in your body is not yours.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36.
Growing in Christ,