Yesterday I went shopping again. I didn’t feel in my spirit the overwhelming fear that I had experienced when things started to shut down, and there were huge runs on the stores. It is still strange that the largest grocery chain in the area is still almost entirely out of Campbell’s Chunky soups (sprinkle TMs over that).
But, this is my mid month paycheck, and I live paycheck to paycheck, so I could get a few more things, but that also means going through the stress of guessing how to disinfect the things that I have gotten. On the MSN “How long does the nasty sucker live on things” or whatever it is called, they do have a footnote that the lower the temperature, the slower it dies. So, being in a northern state, that leaves out putting canned goods in the garage. Right now, the garage is pretty nearly in always around 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 C)
So, I bring in the bags. If I leave things in plastic, and air doesn’t touch a spot, because the plastic is touching it … My living room has a corner for groceries that may have live coronaviruses on them, waiting for the clay finish cardboard/plastic/metal to play whatever part it plays in the death of the coronavirus.
But, having grown up with what seemed to be omnipresent danger, and fear of danger, my hyper-vigilance kicks in. Where might this have been handled. Was it an automated packaging machine that bottled, canned, or … where the operator only has to push a button and dry cough into the contents of the hopper or vat. I was driving myself nuts trying to disinfect individual Cheerios with a Qtip (my sense of humor is coming back).
The Lord is good, and kind, and gentle, and He knows me, and knows my not fully healed bat-shit crazy places.
Holy Spirit: “You will never figure out all the places the virus can hide, you know.”
Me: “Yeah.” (Still anxious)
Holy Spirit: “Someone could have touched the box that you just moved. Or the dirty counter that you put the mostly disinfected hamburger on, caused the virus to stick to the spill that you should have wiped up, and then transferred it to the clean cheese sticks. Which you put away in the refrigerator.”
Me: “Yeah.” (Still anxious)
Holy Spirit: You can’t eliminate the coronavirus from your home. And you can’t keep from getting sick.
Me: “Yeah.” (Calming a little, because He is with me, even if things don’t seem to be headed in a great direction.)
Holy Spirit: “Remember Psalm 127?”
Me: (from memory), “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.” (NASB)
Oh, I get it. Unless the Lord keeps the coronavirus at bay, all my disinfecting is not going to do the job. Unless the Lord makes the choice of if and when and how badly, I get sick, all my taking of immune support supplements will do little.
I have a profession that is similar to a watchman. But, the more I know, the less confident I am that I will really be able to do what people around me expect me to do. So one time in the past Holy Spirit made it clear that it doesn’t say for the laborers to stop working, or the watchman to catch a few extra ZZZZs. We have our part, and He has His. And it is best not to get the two confused.
But, it also means one more thing, that was implied by the above conversation. How do I know when to stop disinfecting? Listen to Him.
And, if you think that He is too far off, or too busy, He is not. He will talk to you about anything, especially if He knows that it is important to you.
And … if He doesn’t. Fair enough question. Those times, are faith building. But not in the sense of some western institutional churches that I know. The faith is that He is good. If it is important, He will let me know. The parents don’t have to supervise everything that the child does. The child needs autonomy to grow. So it is with us. There are lots of things that we do, just because we can, or we know to. And we can be at ease doing them. God knows a lot more about my very specialized profession than I do. And I consult Him often. But, if He has no input, I know to do the best that I can, and maintain an attitude of rest and peace, knowing that He is looking out for me.