April 5th was Jan’s birthday…..I walked into Hudsonville Meijer’s store to get Jan’s daily Starbucks and had to sneeze.  I did it properly and no one took notice…..This past week I actually got out of bed later than I ever have, like 9:00 A.M several days in a row…..

The talking pundits and most people I speak with talk about getting past this, going back to normal.  Do you wonder if there is no going back to normal, that our lives, economy, social make up will never be the same?  Maybe people will realize that the normal of yesterday was not so great after all. Within all of this social distancing is the personal reflection I believe people are making on what is important, what I want out of life, what I am willing to do with my life. 

I have several reactions to this present season.  The first is that of apathy as expressed in Ecclesiastes 1, “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? …All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, or the ear filled with hearing.  What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.”

I am not a victim and do not like to live feeling sorry for myself, although there are days that I am a realist…today.  Ecclesiastes 9: 10 & 11, “Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.  For man does not know his time. Like fish which are taken in an evil net, and like birds which are caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.”

Over the years, I have discovered that I enjoy embracing new opportunities.  Being comfortable and secure are nice at my age, but not particularly attractive to me.  I want to do what I have never done, go where I have never been, see what I have never seen.  I want to embrace life and see the success of others.  Ecclesiastes 11, “Cast your bread upon the water, for you will find it after many days…As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything…In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.  (Here is one for Michigan)…light is sweet, and it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun…for if a man lives many years, let him rejoice in them all…Rejoice, O young man in your youth and let your heart cheer you…Fear God, and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”

More questions:

1. I believe our government needs to act decisively but history suggests that after a crisis the state does not give up all the ground it has taken.  Is American socialism becoming a reality? Does it really matter?

2. How can we inspire leaders (ourselves) to live with confidence, courage, and be the change agents for a better tomorrow?

3. Ecclesiastes spoke to me about balance, perspective, and what is important in a time like this.  Read it through and tell me what you think. It is worth the time.

Stay safe! Best…Always, Lou

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