Tired of wearing a mask everywhere you go? Frustrated at the limitations imposed in a phased return to how things used to be? For me, I did follow the stay-at-home restrictions to the point where I had my groceries delivered. Now that I have been out and about for a few weeks, the novelty of the restrictions has worn off. However, as routine has slipped back into something more comfortable, reflecting on the world’s health crisis has given me a different perspective on making changes.
Not that there is a one-to-one correlation, but the pandemic has brought to light just how different people interpret information they receive. If you ask people if they believe in God, a being they can’t see, can’t hear, and can’t touch, some are going to say yes, some are going to say no, and some will fall somewhere in between. For a Catholic, I have such a hard time fathoming those who don’t believe in God. However, it is just the same with COVID-19; some believe it, some do not, and some take the middle ground.
For those who doubt this virus’ impact, the inconvenience is costing them time and money. They are eager for things to go back to the way they were. Perhaps there was a level of control they felt they had and they want to recapture it. They will not accept that there is a virus, no matter how many statistics are quoted nor pictures of the virus are shown. They may not even change their mind if someone in their close circle of acquaintances succumbs to the virus. Because they don’t believe in any of this, they resist all changes.
For those who accept there is a pandemic and have a sense of what it has done in other parts of the world, wearing face coverings and disposable gloves, standing six feet from others, and keeping all interactions to the minimal time possible, these changes are almost eagerly accepted so that daily life can go on. They accept the personal protection gear, not only because it may protect them, but also so that it protects those with whom they come into contact. Making changes is a natural expectation. The changes may not always be enthusiastically welcomed, but rather humbly received.
The middle ground sometimes sounds like it’s the best place to be. However, it can be the most dangerous. Not fully accepting and not completely rejecting, there is no basis for changes to be received. This tepidness will see any changes that are made quickly vanish once a perceived sense of normal, or the way things used to be, is achieved. It becomes more of what other people are doing and expect, than what is the best thing to do. When around the doubters, any social distancing measures will be forgotten. When asked to wear masks and social distance, an attempt is made to follow, but there is no consciousness that makes them aware of their surroundings to truly execute the requirements.
God made each of us unique and loves us just as we are at any moment. However, He never asks us to stay as we are, but rather to grow closer to Him. Being closer requires us to make changes to our lives, our thoughts, and our plans. Let us pray for the grace to humbly accept all the changes He asks of us and rejoice as we grow closer to Him.