I don’t know what specifically hit me this last week or so, but I really feel “over it.” It isn’t one particular thing but just the general stress of staying at home, the low-worry about the virus, negotiating new relationship norms, people not wearing masks, worried about friends and their businesses, all the racial tension and feeling helpless with that, etc., etc., etc. We’ve been at this for about four months now, and I miss normalcy (and hugs), dang it!
I suspect I’m not alone. Reading articles on Zoom fatigue, watching people protest, hearing about sickness, seeing how Hunger Games-esque politics has become and watching the number of people out and about refusing to wear masks lets me know people are amped up, emotional and simply “over it” too. It’s exhausting!
Can I just tell you? It’s okay to be tired of it! It is. We are emotionally, socially, economically, and culturally exhausted, and really don’t know what lies ahead. No, we aren’t facing a catastrophic world collapse yet, but it is still a lot! So many of the foundations we normally rely on are shaken. We feel deeply unsettled, and that is just wearying.
In that weariness, it helps to remember this isn’t unfamiliar territory for humanity. It is definitely not the first time people have felt this way, nor the first time we’ve asked how to get through it. There are even echoes of that weariness and questions expressed by David in Psalm 11:3:
When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?
That is a great question and probably one we are all wrestling with now. What can the righteous do in the midst of all this? What is it that we can, and should, do to move forward or stay afloat? Fortunately, David responds to this question, but, unfortunately, he doesn’t provide a direct answer. Instead, he provides a reminder:
The Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth;
his eyes examine them.
David reminds us (or perhaps himself) that nothing we are experiencing here on earth alters the reality of who God is. He is on the throne, he sees us, and he loves us. David answers his question by pointing us to the reality of God and our relationship with him. That is the answer. From God’s perspective regarding his nature and us, absolutely nothing has changed. Our foundations might be shaken, but in no way, shape, or form are his. He is still seated on the throne of the universe, calling each of us to live out his character into the world. Nothing has changed about how he relates to us and, just as importantly, how he expects us to relate to the world.
Now, perhaps more than ever, we must seek to surrender to his love and carry it to our world. We must seek justice, love our neighbors, walk humbly, seek after Him, encourage each other, and take his message of hope to the world. Our world needs that message, and our hearts need to share it. Nothing has changed regarding that. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever and right here in this mess with us, calling us to do what we are always called to do.
It is okay to be “over it” and weary of all that is going on. I know I am. What we must not do amid that weariness is lose sight of what we are here for. As Paul says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” What is the answer to the weariness of the world? Do not grow weary in doing good. That will bear fruit.
I close with a challenge of John Wesley that seems strangely fitting to me. “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can as long as you ever can.” That mandate has never changed, and we can keep living it out…as long as we wear a mask when we do so!
Until the next time we see you, wherever God has called you to, stay on mission.
Pastor of Spiritual Development