“May you live in interesting times.”
According to tradition this is a Chinese curse, though there is no factual basis for this. None the less, we have been cursed with interesting times. We have drought, forest fires, increasingly powerful hurricanes and typhoons brought on by climate change. We are struggling with a global pandemic. We also have political and social schisms enflamed by mistrust of the media and authority. So, what are we as followers of Jesus to do?
Maybe those old wrist bands with “WWJD” had the right idea. What would Jesus do? He also lived in interesting times. His homeland was occupied, the religious establishment used biblical law and guilt to keep control of the people and the people longed for a revolution that would bring a King to save them. Jesus didn’t start the revolution they wanted. He didn’t overthrow the occupation. He didn’t usurp the religious authorities directly. He taught love and service. He lived love and service. His interpretation of the law was simple, love God and love your neighbor. That’s all. It’s so simple and so difficult. Our actions and decisions in these “interesting times” are also simple and difficult.
With Jesus as our model we need to make decisions based on how they affect others rather than focusing on our civil liberties and civil laws and regulations. Drive less, ride a bike or use public transportation. Install solar panels and plant environmentally friendly landscaping. Wear a mask for your neighbor as well as yourself. I know some say the science isn’t clear, but isn’t it better to be safe? Get your vaccine. It isn’t perfect but it’s showing to have a positive outcome at reducing your chance of getting the virus or spreading it. Tune out the noise. Look in your heart and figure out how to love your neighbor. You can’t change the times, but you can have a positive impact on those around you.