Sorry for the late post. I got caught up watching Game 7 of the 2016 World Series with my son and my wife last night. Opening day in Major League Baseball is literally one of my favorite days of the year. Having it cancelled was kind of rough. But reliving the greatest baseball game ever played was a small consolation. I was surprised at how nervous I still am as I watch it now.
In recent days we’ve heard reports of staggering job losses across the country. It didn’t really come as a surprise, but it’s painful nevertheless. It has been a little frustrating to hear some people on TV and online yelling about “sacrificing lives for the economy.” I agree, obviously, that some economic hardship is a price that we need to pay right now to secure the physical well-being of as many people as possible. But as we are talking about the physical toll of this disease, can we also find some empathy for those who are suffering economically because of this disease? I’ve seen some pretty calloused and self-righteous posts online about our culture’s “addiction to capitalism” almost as if economic disaster is a welcome byproduct of this pandemic. Please. You are statistically at least thirty times more likely to know someone who has lost their job because of this crisis than to know someone who is sick. All I’m saying is that your neighbor’s job or small business isn’t nothing and shouldn’t be treated as such. Allow people to express their deep concern about the economic fallout of this situation without lecturing them about “more important issues.”
Yesterday was a productive day for me. I spent all morning putting the finishing touches on converting my classes to an online format. In the afternoon, we had a teacher parade come by our house. (Side note: We should be giving parades for teachers anyway. But this is one of my favorite things that has been born from this crisis. Teachers driving their cars through neighborhoods, honking and waving to their students as the students cheer and clap, is a beautiful thing.) We also cleaned out our garage only about two years after we needed to. Before a late dinner, I mowed my dad’s lawn, and we spent some time walking the dogs in the park. After so many days of feeling like I was lethargic and unmotivated, it felt good to finally have a day where I was able to get stuff done. It felt good to take advantage of this unique moment and this new opportunity to be productive.
As I was reading through Galatians this morning, I started thinking about the fruit of the Spirit. The fruit represent God’s productivity in us. A productive person, just like a productive tree, produces fruit. Virtues are typically born out of hardship. It’s hard to produce self-control in an environment without temptation. It’s hard to produce joy in an environment without sorrow. It’s hard to produce peace in an environment without chaos. This moment is giving us unique opportunities to be productive in areas of our lives that we might have been neglecting. Garages are being cleaned. Books are being read. Family dinners are being had. It would be good for us to reflect on how this moment is also a unique opportunity to manifest the fruit of the Spirit. Today, how can I be a person of patience? Today, how can I be a person of peace? Today, how can I be a person of gentleness? Today, how can I be a person of love?