It is now 2020. Where are we in history?
By Myrtle Virginia Thompson
Was it only yesterday we were celebrating 2020, a new millennium and a new decade? The coming vernal equinox is a reminder more than one-sixth has already been chronicled into history. What, if anything, has changed, and what, if anything, have we learned?
During these past weeks, I have found myself ruminating on the importance of record keeping, some of which biblical history has faithfully displayed from the beginning of time and some of which was recorded in my day. When my daughter took me to get my “REAL ID,” I found my parents marriage in 1907 was already on file.
During the past weeks, we watched or heard hours of incivility and hostile attitudes of leaders we voted into office. Jesus said “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34) Over three millennia ago, King Solomon wrote, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:11) That includes words. Proverbs 12:13 says we can be trapped by the words we speak, something technology has confirmed.
Words have the effect of exposing our inner self. Sadly, some of our emotional outbursts are like an icy wind blown from our minds, escaping into the air, frozen as in a “capsule” that time cannot melt. Not even “It didn’t come out like I intended” will be forgotten as long as earth’s people and computers last.
Those emotional words directed to members of our nation’s highest court are indelibly imprinted unless and until a new way is found to remove them. Our rancorous words may become as hard as rocks over which we stumble. When that happens, we will find the only way to get over their “haunting” and continue on safely is by asking forgiveness of man and of God.
Before there was time for all of that to be digested, the coronavirus swooped down on us, swift as the wings of an eagle, unexpected and unwanted, not totally sure how to handle it, knowing only we needed to take steps immediately to contain it. This was a physical attack, interrupting and affecting everything in all our daily lives. Again, the attempt to make helpful changes landed on a battleground, complicated by opinions as to how the situation should be handled.
At this point, I found a passage in II Chronicles 20 about a battle of a different kind. It was a physical battle, but the same need for help and the same lesson applies. King Jehoshaphat was facing a major battle, knowing he was not adequate to fight his enemy. He and his people were fearful because they were about to be overtaken in a battle by a great multitude from “across the sea.” The King brought the people together and called on the Lord with words like these, “We have no might against this great company and don’t know what to do but our eyes are on You.” God heard, accepted and answered this plea for help.
Our president and his advisory council are working hard on our behalf. We certainly need to depend on and heed these human solutions, but like King Jehoshaphat, we also need to ask God for help. Hopefully, a good outcome in this crisis will be secured by our medical people — a good report and a lasting cure for the public — but let’s never forget this prayer resource.
St. Paul wrote to Timothy to “pray everywhere without wrath or doubting…” (I Timothy 2:1-8)
Myrtle V. Thompson, 92, is a retired missionary, educator and Bible teacher. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.