Devotional for Friday May 29th

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Change can be good for you”
Our Bible verse for today: “Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course … What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:4-6; 9 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “It is what it is. Can you deal with it?”
In the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon was being a bit of a stoic. Stoicism is the mindset that life happens and you just need to deal with it. A stoic has a fairly stable and steady personality and he or she isn’t easily excited or upset. They don’t typically experience dramatic highs or lows. They’re just steady.
As one example of his stoicism, in the verses cited above, Solomon was simply observing that the world turns, events unfold, time passes, generations come and go, people live and die, and then it all happens again, and again, and again. That’s the tone he maintains throughout all twelve chapters. Stuff happens. Don’t be a baby about it. Deal with it and move on.
In its extreme form stoicism is a problem. Extreme stoics are unfeeling, almost lifeless, and that of course, isn’t good. But being stable and steady, not easily excited and not easily upset, that’s a good way to be. The ability to take things in stride without making an unnecessarily big deal out of them is an important life-skill that will serve you well. You still have empathy when it’s appropriate, and you are kind and compassionate as well, but you’re not prone to extremes on either end of the emotional spectrum.
That brings us to the subject of the current COVID 19 pandemic. This isn’t the first such worldwide pandemic in history. Not by a long shot. There have been others which have been even worse. Pandemics of this magnitude seem to come in cycles about every 100 years. What we’re going through right now is a rare event, a once in a century event, but it is not new. Its also not the end of the world. As bad as it is it will pass, we will recover from it, and we will get on with life.
So, it is what it is. Can you deal with it? Can you deal with the inconvenience, the disruption to normal life, the sickness, the death, the economic hardships, and all the rest of it, without overreacting in one direction or the other?  Don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend it doesn’t exist. It does exist. But also, don’t lock yourself in a bunker and cower in fear. Instead, be rational, reasonable, calm, and clear-headed as you take the precautions that need to be taken, being helpful in all the ways that are needed from you in the moment, and then get on with life as best as possible.  
Perhaps this pandemic can be an opportunity for all of us to learn a little healthy stoicism. Perhaps this can be an exercise in staying calm as we do the things necessary to deal with a dangerous and damaging situation.
I encourage you to keep your head and do the things that need to be done. Be the stable and steady one. Get yourself through this, and help others to get through it too.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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