Learning to live with COVID-19, not fear it

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Proverbs 1:7 teaches us “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom...”

As the United States continues to put less emphasis on God and worship, and more on materialism and social/political division, we have moved further from this proverb.

I’ll be honest, I let COVID-19 emotionally and spiritually test me recently. Like everyone else, this virus has affected my family. We are a relatively active family and  enjoy weekend escapades and activities that doesn’t necessarily happen inside the confines of our residence. Personally, it’s taken church, the gym and even meeting some friends for a drink or two. 

But as I prayed for wisdom (which honestly is the first thing I should of done), the Good Lord delivered it to me as I was having a conversation with a friend who is in the Northeast working on this virus.

I was reminded of a sermon from church a week or two before the virus came to American soil. When you fear the wrong things, you worship the wrong things. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

The fear of the Lord, in my opinion, is not the cowering fear a scolded dog may exhibit, but more of a respect-type of fear a child may have for their father.

Respect for our fathers comes from two types of fear. The first is the fear of punishment if we miss a curfew or are caught underage smoking/drinking. The second is the fear of disappointing our fathers by letting him down.

As fear, or fear-mongering, continues to get thrown around social circles as it relates to COVID-19, I believe we continue to move further from fearing the Lord and more toward fearing a variety of other things. 

As a society, we have feared COVID-19 and how it could affect ourselves or our loved ones. We have feared the government doing too much or too little to over-power/protect us.

Fearing the wrong things, leads to the worship of the wrong things. If you fear your home being broken into, you covet the security system and other measures of protection. If you fear not having materialistic things, you covet the money you need to have those things.

That being said, you still respect and understand things that can harm you. You don’t go down a dark alley and you don’t pick a fight with the biggest guy at the bar.

When the virus started spreading in America, sports were canceled, businesses shut their doors and people were told to stay inside. This, in my opinion, was not a measure of the government taking our rights away.

This was our leaders asking for some time to figure out how we can manage this virus and still function as a nation.  

Starting next week, things are going to look a little bit more normal. 

Whether we agree or disagree with Texas and other states slowly opening up, we need to not fear the virus. 

We need to learn to live with it and grow to understand it and the very real threat it does still pose. 

Rather than put our faith in the wrong things, put your faith in the Lord. 

Another paraphrase from the aforementioned sermon: the virus may be running the world right now, but God controls the virus.

John Lee is the editor of The Pampa News and can be reached at jclee@thepampanews.com or find him on Twitter @jcl1987.

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