I’m definitely tired, I’m writing this post late Tuesday night because I had a long day today. Wednesday, when this post will go public, my work day will start at 7am. I’m tired. And because I am physically exhausted I am tempted to give in to this picture and raise my hand. I am tempted to surrender to the evil in this world and give up fighting. And that is what I see behind this picture. Though on the surface the picture seems to be saying, “I wish we could get back to normal.”, underneath it masks sloth, greed, and pride.
Why are we tired?
What’s tiring about the news?
Because it is all negative, either people are sick or there are riots.
That is an actual conversation. Here is what I am thinking hearing that last reply. “You are tired because you have to have your comfortable life interrupted by the tragedy of others. You are so selfish you cannot take part in the difficulties of others?”
Now I will admit dealing with the grief and sorrow of others is often mentally and emotionally taxing. It is difficult to help shoulder the loads of others as they heal from the wounds of life. But this does not seem to be what is meant by the picture, at least not by the people sharing it. No, they seem to mean they are sick of the misery of others invading their bubble of contentment. These individuals are tired of hearing of riots because they do not want to have the difficult conversations surrounding our country’s inequalities. They do not want to have the conversation about COVID-19 because they do not want to be reminded of the health care realities of our country. No, they would rather return to the days before coronavirus when we blindly went about our day more concerned about the stock market than with people.
The reality, as I said months age, is that these parallel issues are revealing to us the cancer in our society. I don’t know how to fix these situations but I know we cannot grow tired. Growing tired will allow the cancer to destroy us. I have seen this script before, the external threat hits, we respond, two months later the external threat is gone, but the cancer remains unchecked. Because we grew tired. The cancer is we care more about our comfort than about our neighbors. We care more about restoring our normal way of life than about improving the lives of those around us. I found out today that Verizon is doing work in my area removing 3G infrastructure so 5G can be available. Sounds great, upgrading the system. Except when you realize how many people in the county do not have access to internet or cellular service. Literally, companies will not serve some areas because it is not profitable. Kids with no access to school work, but hey let’s make sure our wealthy customers can download a video faster. there are other examples, like how many CEO’s took a pay cut during the last three months so the company could help maintain the wages of the single mom’s on the bottom of the food chain?
What am I getting at? I think that what people are experiencing when they say tired, is more like guilt and frustration. They are finally seeing that cancer exists in society and they do not like it. They are tired because they are being forced to confront the grim aspects of society and they are repulsed.
So how do we handle being tired? After all, it is not enough to simply point out the reality of life and say, “Deal with it.” No, I think we must come to these issues with better solutions. The first is to honestly ask, “what am I reacting against?” Why do I have a reaction to someone wearing, or not wearing, a mask? Why am I reacting to the protesters the way I am? It is a simple solution to start with “because they are” but that does not get to the issue within me. “Because they are” pushes the blame on to others and makes me seem righteous. My goal is to know why “I” am reacting, what ideals are are motivating “me” to “my” opinions? It is when I can answer this question that I can take my motivations to God and ask God to work in me to purify that motivation. In doing this I am asking God to help me understand where I am feeding the cancer in society.
Tired is not an option. If society gets tired society dies. I say this especially to Christians who are in some real ways the immune system of society. We cannot grow tired. We can lament the evil in society, we can pray for strength to help others carry their loads, we can grieve, but we cannot grow tired. I am physically tired and in less than six hours my morning will start, but as I look around at the troubles of our society I am not tired.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9