Wait, what are we running from?
The internet abounds with memes of lemmings. That's not lemmings in the photo, that's wildebeest, we'll talk about them in a moment. But back to "lemmings". It seems we know them for following each other over cliffs. Whenever we call someone a lemming, we are saying they are someone who “unthinkingly joins a mass movement, especially a headlong rush to destruction.”
To be fair to lemmings, they don’t commit mass suicides. Not intentionally. That’s proved “scientifically”. Suicide being limited to “voluntary deliberation”, they don’t intentionally commit suicide, it just happens because of their foolishness.
They’re just migrating. And in migrating they have attempted to swim oceans, leap from excessively high cliffs, cross hazardous fiords- all because the lemming in the front were doing it. Now, who knows what the lemmings in the front were thinking? I say that ‘tongue-in-cheek’. But the fact is, once the population of the lemming exceeds the ability of their habitat’s potential to maintain it… the urge to migrate kicks in. And the migrating habits of lemmings lead to extreme population declines.
Declining to the point of extinction! (According to the Canadian Wildlife Federation). They almost wipe themselves out, blindly and ignorantly following along…
"It's a mad dash for... something."
They aren’t the only animal species to migrate in such a fashion. I love watching the National Geographic channel, and I’ve seen the episodes where wildebeest are migrating. It’s a mad dash for… something. The dust kicks up to the clouds, and it’s impossible for them to see anything, and wherever the one in front goes, the one behind is sure to follow. And quite often, thousands end up dead along the way. Trampled. Drowned. Dashed to death at the bottom of a crevice. Severely injured and taken out by predators… All because they were just following along…
And what can you do? Even though you know they’re headed for destruction. You can see it coming, and often while watching these episodes, I can see a few hundred yards away a much safer place to navigate whatever is in their path. But, alas, it’s the herd mentality.
Social psychologists refer to the herd mentality, mob mentality, gang mentality or pack mentality to describe how people can be influenced by their peers, to adopt certain behaviors. This happens emotionally, rather than rationally. When affected by herd mentality, individuals make different decisions than they would have made individually.
This also relates (I’m not a psychologist- just giving my opinion) to what sociologist and psychologist deem mass hysteria. Which is defined as a phenomenon that transmits collective illusions of threats, whether real or imaginary, through a population in society as a result of rumors and fear.
Let's Talk About The Virus...
If you know me, you already know where I’m headed in this blog. The coronavirus. More specifically COVID-19. This has caused quite a stir in our nation. What I see, and read, reminds me of the wildebeest, the lemmings, the herd mentality, the mass hysteria that psychologist study. People are in a panic over… something. I’m not sure exactly what they are panicking over. One reason I say this is because of the mad rush to buy toilet paper??? I’ve had friends send me photographs of the toilet paper isles in the area Wal-Marts that are totally bare. I can’t imagine… does the virus cause some sort of explosive diarrhea that I haven’t heard of? I read this morning that anxiety can cause diarrhea… ahhhh haaa!! So that’s it. If you find yourself that worried about contacting the coronavirus, google “Anxiety Diarrhea and How to Handle It”.
My daughter told me this morning that she doesn’t need to “stock up”, she just needs TP, and doesn’t know where to get any… I better go check my bathroom… I did have a roll in there, but she left with a suspicious-looking lump under her shirt… Seriously, people… If it gets that bad (end of the world–everything shut down) and you haven’t stocked up on canned goods and other food items, you won’t be needing the toilet paper. It’s simple physiology. Something has to go in, before anything comes out…
I think the mad rush on the TP aisle just shows that people are worried, and they’re not sure about exactly what, and they don’t know what to do… so, someone is buying up the TP? Grab a bundle!! To be fair, I felt much better when my wife informed me- now all the alcohol wipes are also gone. That makes much more sense!
Let me make a disclaimer here: I don’t want to take the corona virus too lightly, and I don’t take anyone’s death flippantly. Regardless of what the death toll or mortality rate winds up being, it’s too high. And, I am aware of the threat, the pandemic, the steps and measures being taken to curb and curtail the spread of the infection, and I agree with the rash, logical, non-fear driven advice I’ve received from my research and from the close friends I have (and my daughter) who are in the medical profession. However, I refuse to lose my sense of humor, let fear run amok in my life, or abandon my biblical moorings. I have to have at least one constant, one thing in my life that never changes. One anchor that I always go to, no matter the circumstances. In my life, that’s the Word of God.
I’d like to quote a recent acquaintance of mine. He’s elderly, and possibly in the last days of his life. He refuses to stop believing that Jesus will heal him. He’s so adamant about it, that someone asked me to counsel him. I was told, “Maybe he’s in denial.” After I talked to him for a few moments he said, “What am I supposed to do? Now that I’m at the end of my life, start saying, ‘I don’t believe Jesus is a healer?’” I immediately understood Jerry’s point. After all, I’ve been through, now that I’m facing a stark reality, do I lose my faith? Not Jerry. And neither will I.
Jesus said that in the last days, “And there will be signs… men’s hearts failing them for fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth…” Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and the expectation of what’s coming. Doesn’t this at least resemble what’s happening with COVID-19 to anyone else? The panic that’s causing the rush on the TP aisle, the closure of various types of businesses, the stock market crashing, the general onset of panic… I can’t help but think the fear is worse, and causing more lasting damage, than the virus at this point.
I have never seen anything like this level of fear in my lifetime. I was here during the 1999 “end of days” scare, the SARS, MERS, Swine Flu, Mad Cow Disease, Mayan Calendar predictions, 9/11 terror attacks, etc., and I have never seen such widespread panic. I agree on a strong offensive, always. But a sane, unpanicked well informed, offensive… with all costs considered. And without losing our faith.
I believe the Bible. That God is a healer. And not just a healer. A protector. And a preventer. God is my refuge and fortress, and He will deliver me from any perilous pestilence. His word says “because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling…” As I write this, because I am human (as much as I hate to admit it) there’s that tiny place in my brain that says, “what if you get it? What if you die from it?” Well, if I do, I’ll die believing that Jesus is a healer, and holding fast my profession of faith. Let this blog be my epitaph.
But there’s another place in my brain, a much larger place, that’s asking a totally different question. What if? What if- instead of the widespread panic, there was a humbling down of our nation’s leaders, constituents and media, and they asked us all to collectively seek the face of God, and have prayer meetings that resulted in genuine repentance, and we reverse some of our wicked ways, such as aborting innocent babies and supporting the homosexual agendas… I wonder what would happen then? (2 Chronicles 7:14 comes to mind?)
Jesus Loves The Little Children Of The World...
Did you know that as of today, March 13, 2020, not one child in any nation, under the age of 10 years old has died from COVID-19, SARS or MERS? Anywhere. I can’t help but remember a song I learned decades ago in Sunday School, Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red, brown, yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight! Scientist are baffled by it; I’m elated by it!
I believe that those who believe, if we, “drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.” I’m not afraid to touch you if you’re sick.
Before I’m overly criticized for my “lack of fear”, let me state, I do believe that wisdom triumphs stupidity, and faith trumps fear… And I want everyone to exercise faith, wisdom, and caution… Caution, not fear. And not panic. Don’t be like the rest of the lemmings, blindly following along just because the guy in front of you is doing it. Do a little research, ask a few questions, go get the TP if you need it, and while you’re there grab a few sterile wipes. And never, even though we may face a stark reality, don’t ever lose your faith.
Marine. Husband. Christian. Father. Pastor. A Real Man helping masculine men find their place in God’s Kingdom, without sacrificing masculinity to do it.