In 1971, Hasbro toy makers showcased one of their soon to be famous toys on the Romper Room children’s show. It was a Weeble. A small egg shaped toy that looked like people. The famous toys were marketed with a catchy jingle; “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down.”
I’m too young to remember the Cuban missile crisis. I didn’t live through the uncertainties and rationing of supplies during the two World Wars. I do remember the OPEC strangle moves on oil in the 70’s and 80’s that caused cars to line up for sometimes 12 hours to get gasoline, and oh do I ever remember when the price of gas jumped from about $.35 to over a $1.00 a gallon in a week!
I wasn’t alive when the newly elected President Roosevelt made these words famous: “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” His calming words were spoken at the height of the Great Depression in 1933, when the US and the world were locked in an absolute morass of economic disaster.
So to be sure, there have been panics and fears for the country and world before now... just not in a long time. During my lifetime I have never witnessed the kind of disaster broadcasting that seems constant from nearly every TV, radio and Internet source. The fear and panic currently gripping our country and the world is truly incredible.
After 9/11 when ALL aircraft were grounded in the USA there was a fear of the unknown forces that had attacked America. Now the forces are biological with strong impacts on the economy and everyday life. The list of school closings that began as a trickle last week has now become a tsunami as governors call for many states to shut down all school systems for two to six weeks. Travel, professional and amateur sports, vacation plans, cruise lines, and even all Disney theme parks have been thrown into chaos by what experts are now naming the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where will this all go? How and how long will this virus affect our present and future world? I have no idea and it would appear that no one else really does either. The outbreak in China seems to be coming to an end already but it’s too soon to be sure. Of one thing I’m extremely confident, at some point in the future many of us will speak of these moments as part of our collective past with conversations that will include statements like, “You know, I remember back in 2020 when...” This is not the end of our country. We’ll wobble but we won’t fall down. It may be the end of innocence for many that believed nothing “worldwide bad” could ever happen in their lifetime. It’s certainly not the end of human arrogance that needs to be reminded from time to time just how fragile our lives and our world are before our mighty God!!!
How very fitting our recent study. "O our God, ... we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD. Then the Spirit of the LORD... said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's.’” (2 Chr. 20:12-15)
- Tim Orbison