(Casual Saturday will be a new series of non-political articles covering the Saturday post slot.)
We’re out. The class of 2020 will be receiving their diplomas in a mailbox, not the graduation stage. For the next 3 months, school will be on a computer screen. And don’t even mention spring sports…
These are tough times for a lot of people. Outside of education, 16.6 million people have applied for unemployment. People aren’t allowed to leave their house, and the lockdown rules are only getting stricter, despite the overall coronavirus deaths being four times lower than expected. What meaning can we find in a new life devoid of any ability to participate in society, and where our basic recognition has been stripped from us?
While I don’t want to repeat the themes of “Exit Quarantine Better Than You Entered It,” there was a part of it I didn’t elaborate on. To understand, it is important to know that around the same time as lockdown began, so too did Ash Wednesday and Lent. In Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which is a period of six weeks meant for solemn observance of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. During Lent, people typically pray, humble themselves, and deny themselves vices in life, for example following abstinence and fasting. Lent goes all the way up to Good Friday, the day Jesus Christ was crucified, and Easter Sunday, the day he was resurrected. During this time, we coincidentally have been deprived of social interaction and various other promiscuities that occur in social settings. We also have been deprived of other people’s approval and our outlet of competition, in the form of graduation and sports.
Who has the power to make it possible that our circumstances all have led up to us being inside during Lent? Who, in turn, is always listening to you if you want to talk about all that has happened, no matter what? Who has made it so you are forced to spend time with your family, one of the bedrocks of morality? Who will always forgive you for your sins, as long as you accept who He is?
Yes, the answer is God. The self-introspection I mentioned on Tuesday includes the fact that God is waiting now more than ever for you to accept His embrace, and live a moral life ending in eternal salvation. You can laugh, you can ridicule. You can pay lip-service to our culture that demonizes Christians. After all, almost every form of media you have consumed during your life probably has, explicitly or implicitly. For many people, it’s not their fault, they know no better.
Unfortunately, many of these same people have serious esteem issues, and always seek the validation that they have been deprived of, in the form of social media, promiscuity, drugs, and other self-gratifying habits. Take note of these statistics: Right now, America’s suicide rate is at an all-time high, and at least in one state, calls to said state’s suicide hotline increased by 25 times since lockdown began. Drug overdoses have followed a similar trend to suicides over the years. With God’s love, would these people be doing this to themselves?
The message is this: instead of bringing your average livelihood indoors, come to God during this time of Lent. Don’t be afraid to tell Him how you feel about your circumstances. It’s ok to suffer, it’s part of life. This way, you can find solace in these trying times.
With that said, I hope you all had a happy and blessed Good Friday, and I hope you have a happy and blessed Easter.