For those who were unaware, our deadliest day of COVID was just followed by an attack on our Capitol building.  Apologies to those who were trying to avoid the news.

What a mess!

I’m already regretting making the statement that 2021 might turn out worse than 2020, although I was using that as an imaginary exercise to ask, “How will we react if this is the case?”  And I still believe 2021 will be a better year.  We just have to get through the next two weeks until the inauguration, and the next few months while we expand our vaccination program, and hope we don’t get hit by an asteroid or invaded by aliens in the meantime.  And that last one might not be so bad if they really do come in peace.

I think it is safe to say we have enough to worry about.  But how much should we worry?  Here are some choices:

a) Worry all the time.  Worry all day and worry that we are not worrying enough.  Make sure to check the news feed and TV frequently in case we missed something else that we could be worrying about.  Call friends who are not worried and make sure they are worrying too.  Go to bed worrying and wake up multiple times during the night to get some more worry time in, and maybe a drink of water.

b) Worry 50% of the time.  This can be done a couple ways.  One may choose, for example, to worry every other minute, and then take a minute off to be productive and/or positive.  Or set a time aside ~ let’s say 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or 2 p.m. to midnight ~ to make sure we give equal time to worry in our lives and keep things fair and balanced.

c) Don’t worry about anything.  Don’t wear a mask.  Don’t look both ways before crossing the street.  Don’t check the oven light.  Drive as fast as you want and eat whatever you’d like.  Life is short and we’re all going to die, so why worry?

d) When you feel a little worry coming in, don’t worry, it’s normal to be a little worried!  When you feel a larger case of worry coming in, stop what you’re doing and go to God in prayer.  Ask God to ease your anxiety and remind you of His blessings and His promises.  Remember that Jesus told us all these things would happen: wars and rumors of wars, brothers fighting against brothers, people turning to what they want to hear instead of listening to the truth, people doing things in Jesus’ name without checking with Jesus first.  Take a deep breath.  Now let it out.  Now realize that although you didn’t see all this coming, God did.  The eternal plan is safe.  Your soul is still secure.  Heaven is still real.  God is still love.  Goodness still exists, not only in heaven, but in humanity.  The sun will still rise tomorrow.  Birds will still sing.

One day, all kingdoms shall fall except one.  But that probably won’t be today.  Today, people will debate and cast blame and repent and pray and pick up the pieces and go on.  Some will continue to threaten our society and our way of life.  Others will try to make the world a better place.  Some will switch from one side to the other.  Some will say, “Enough is enough.”  Some will insist on standing up for what is good and true and pure and right.  Some ~ honoring the season we have now entered ~ will have an epiphany.

In the middle of all the chaos on the Congressional floor, in the middle of the flash bombs and broken windows and gas masks and evacuations, one Congresswoman was seen giving what seemed like a particularly erudite, emotional speech.  “No,” said the commentator, “I think she’s praying.”  Somehow she had managed to keep her head and to call on the power of Jesus in her hour of need, making a witness of faith in the middle of a storm.  May we too have the courage to turn to our Lord, our port in every storm, our lighthouse and our rock.  Amen.