The world seems to be in chaos right now with a war for who can own the most toilet paper. I was completely clueless to how bad it was until Thursday. It started with the stand up comedy show I was supposed to see with one of my favourite comedians, Mike Birbiglia at Helium Comedy Club in Buffalo being postponed until July (If you haven’t heard his material before, I highly recommend him). Until that moment, I hadn’t given the COVID-19 much thought. Shortly after that, the school board announced its closures, and then I received a call from my office to say I needed to be tested because I had taken the Tuesday and Wednesday off for the flu. How did I know I had the flu? It was pretty obvious; I was either sleeping or having my stomach explode. My office, however, wanted medical confirmation I was okay. Fortunately, my doctor confirmed I had the flu and I was allowed to return to work on Friday, which was the same day my company emailed all of its clients to say we can now do video conferencing instead of meeting in the office. Add in the chaos at the grocery stores and suddenly I had the voices in my head starting with the “what if’s,” which are the same voices that have caused others to act like we’re about to have a nuclear war. Fortunately, I have enough logical friends who have helped me stay grounded – it pays to have good people as friends (the people fighting over toilet paper could’ve used my friends help them stay sane… or lock them up).
Even more importantly, no matter what happens I know I have my “insurance program” – an insurance program that doesn’t actually suck because it does what it promises. My faith in God has always been a valuable foundation for me. It was what got me through my unknown depression and obvious workaholism problems in my teens and most of my twenties. It was what got me through my struggle to find my career, love, and meaning in life. My faith is what continues to bring me encouragement and help me feel peace and contentment in life. The benefits of faith can really only be understood if you’ve experienced them… not to make it sound like a cult. Now with all the craziness going around, again, I can find comfort in my faith. There’s comfort knowing we’re not alone. There’s comfort in praying for strength and for showing support to others. There’s comfort knowing God won’t smite me when I skip church for a few weeks to be cautious.
The most important thing for me is that believing in God reminds me not to be stuck in the present and to remember this life is short and eternity is an important idea to keep in mind. Believing in God keeps me aware that better days are ahead. If, for some reason, something happens and I die (i.e. crazy murder scene in a grocery store) I know I’m going to a better place. This is a pretty incredible insurance program. And all it costs me is love… that’s better price than my house insurance. I wish my company would accept payment in singing songs and listening to lessons that help me grow.
The only problem with my faith is it doesn’t protect me from the grief of losing loved ones. I learned this fourteen years ago when my dad passed away – it was a lot easier for him in the casket than the rest of us who had to deal with his loss. Losing loved ones suck! Knowing they’re going to heaven gives hope – definitely better than atheism where they believe there’s nothing. Unfortunately, faith doesn’t erase grief. Losing anything is hard and faith can only do so much to help, but on the plus side, any hope in tough times is better than despair.
It’s unfortunate most people don’t want to invest in faith because it really can make life better. Hopefully in this time of chaos, people will be more open to seeking help from beyond this world (and I don’t mean aliens). Hopefully when people are stuck at home or in lines at grocery stores they’ll be able to start giving some thought towards what would really make this time better. Hopefully people will be so bored with TV they’ll start to wonder what is life really about and is this all there is, which are the important questions most people miss because they’re too busy making and spending money.
May this week open everyone’s eyes to the greater picture.
Rev Chad David, ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people (like me)