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More Notes From the Underground

November 18, 2020

Leadership Notes

{more Notes from Underground}

It is disheartening to read about the newest round of economic shutdowns in Michigan. I am especially concerned about restaurants. The big fast-food chains ought to be just fine. But what about all the locally owned and operated establishments throughout our beautiful state? Think about the burden born by employees…servers and dishwashers…cooks and cleaners…and everybody else in-between. The time between now and when the shutdown will possibly be lifted is a hugely busy time. These are legitimate concerns for the working men and women of our great state.

Here at Covenant Church, we continue to monitor the conditions within our community of faith. People are making reasonable and responsible choices. As always, we are careful, cautious, and unafraid.

Someone near and dear to me talks about "Covid Drama." It's all about painting things in the doomiest-and-gloomiest possible light. You'd better rethink those Thanksgiving plans. Meanwhile, the Governor of California, which has some of the most restrictive policies in the country, was recently at a birthday dinner for a lobbyist/political fixer. All of his mandated protocols were violated. Go figure.

During this pandemic, it's been interesting to me how some folks point to what is or isn't happening in one place, with the assumption that it's only a matter of time before it does or doesn't happen here. But El Paso, Texas isn't Tecumseh, Michigan. All things aren't equal.

I came across a new word to describe an attitude driven by human behavior.


* "Pain catastrophizing is the tendency to describe a pain experience in more

exaggerated terms than the average person, to ruminate on it more, and/or to feel more helpless about the experience."

* "Catastrophizing is when someone assumes that the worst will happen. Often, it involves believing that you're in a worse situation than you really are or exaggerating the difficulties you face."

Perhaps my tombstone will read, "He Should Have Been More of a Catastro-phizer."

We remain in a time when parts of our lives are controlled by the leadership class. Is there a disconnect between what goes on in state capitals and in places where people are doing their best to safely get on with their lives?

Here's what the Canadian Prime Minister said in September:

"This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to reimagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality and climate change."

Not sure where the science is on that, but our friendly neighbor to the north captures the mindset of many here at home. These are strange times.

Now for something positive. In spite of state restrictions, Grace Community Church in California has been meeting for in-person worship since summer. They average about 7,000 at their services. There have been three reported Covid-19 cases from the congregation, with no hospitalizations or deaths. Of course, that could change, but they continue to responsibly manage their situation. Which is what most of us want to do. The best estimates for surviving Covid-19 currently sits at about 99%, so clearly our healthcare system is doing a good job of

managing this pandemic. That is encouraging.

On the Thanksgiving front, The Babylon Bee ran an inspiring piece.

Here's an excerpt:

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—According to anonymous sources, one local Michigan family is choosing to rise up against tyranny and rebel against cultural norms by celebrating the holidays with friends and family, just like normal. In a leak to the press, Governor Whitmer's network of spies revealed that the Ritterson family is planning on having brothers, sisters, and grandparents over for a lovely Thanksgiving and Christmas, filling the home with warmth and joy.

Oh, the horror of it all! The Bee wraps up the story in an uplifting way:

Americans around the country have been encouraged by this tremendous show of courage from the Rittersons. Many say they are inspired to think about enjoying the holidays like normal as well.

All I can add is a boisterous "Hooray" for leftovers!

As I review this message, I realize I'm being a bit less positive than usual. Maybe even a bit more contrarian. I'll end on a positive note:

"However weak we are, however poor, however little our faith, or however small our grace may be, our names are still written on His heart; nor shall we lose our share in Jesus' love."

- Charles Spurgeon

Finally, one Sam Stephens observes, "God is not after your emotional wellness. He is after your holiness."

We Love Each Other Because Christ First Loved Us,


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