CommunityPeopleRon Baker

From Our Latest Issue: What I have learned in the 2020 pandemic

By Ron Baker

Fifty years ago (1968-1969) a plague struck our world. It was euphemistically called “sleeping sickness”, or as some referred to it – “The Hong Kong Flu”. Between one and four million people died in the pandemic!

Our family was hit with the flu, my brother to the greatest degree – he was initially paralyzed from the waist down. Months-long rehab helped to restore his movement.

Meanwhile, at the same time, the world was full of unrest. Much discontent was generated by the baby boomer generation (of which I am a part). Riots were rampant and national guards were called for in the United States – with an infamous shooting by those policing the riots – “Four Dead in Ohio”.

Youth were also seeing the need for God. The Jesus Movement was in full swing and the call for relationship with God and with others was strong! The structure of the institutional church was teetering on the edge – a new day was coming.

A half century later, we are looking at another monumental change in our world. I have been inundated with enough articles, examined enough news and taken enough online “courses” to know there is a “new normal” coming.

What have I learned these last few months?

In many ways the biggest takeaway – there is nothing new under the sun.

I join with the biblical writers in assessing the situation. Jeremiah 9:23-24 tell us to not trust in wealth, wisdom or power. Our great priority should be knowing God. The writer of Ecclesiastes says, while there is a time for everything, our greatest focus should be fearing God and obeying His commands. Jesus, God and human, reminds us he is the way, the truth and the life in the midst of death, dying and upheaveal.

There is little to be gained by obsessing over daily headlines, restrictions and fear. There is much to be gained by obsessing over God, doing what pleases Him and seeking to be like Jesus!

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