We are more alike than anybody wants to admit. We like to think that we’re different and unique, but when it comes right down to it, there are a lot of people who share the same qualities and quirks that we do. We are born into the same humanity, created in the image of God, and we have the same basic needs and desires. Basic survival, comfort, and a need for connection are shared by everyone.
The herd mentality that we all share has come out on full display with everything that is currently going on in the world. The head purchaser at Walmart recently explained in great detail the trends happening across humanity.
The first thing everyone did when covid19 started was to buy toilet paper, about a week later flour and yeast sold out EVERYWHERE. (How much banana bread can everyone eat?) About three weeks after the lock-down, hair dye and trimmers were in high demand. The buyers at the big retailers are trying to keep up with the trends while pack mentality and behavior is on full display.
Home vegetable gardens and raising chickens has seen a 300% increase in the last few weeks (I was raising chickens before it was cool). Bike sales have gone through the roof. Each week brings something new that we are all rushing to do. We react out of fear, uncertainty, the need for comfort, or maybe just following everyone else’s lead. We don’t want to miss out.
One common and healthy reaction to the changing world we live in is the need to serve others. People’s natural need to help out our fellow man, and to serve others, is on full display, sometimes in very creative ways. We can’t go on mission trips right now, we can’t congregate in person, but we can still help others. It’s what we’re designed to do, it’s what we need to do.
The natural servants, the people who have always been serving in some way, have been stepping up in tremendous ways. Our local church knows our town has about a 50% unemployment rate, rather than set up a food bank and risk contamination, they created “gift certificates” to local ma-and-pa grocery stores so people could purchase exactly what they need. Purchases through Amazon from our orphanage “wish-list” where people can send items directly to us, have doubled in the last month or so.
I heard a story about a man creating cheap, easy room dividers for daycare centers so kids could stay in smaller groups easier, now he’s making them for some YMCAs that allow medical staff and first responders to bathe and catch some sleep. These are made from PVC (plastic) pipes, tarps, and zip ties. I later found out it was an old friend I’d lost touch with who came up with this great idea.
People are sewing masks, shopping for elderly, 3d printing medical equipment. and finding so many creative ways to help others. Trials don’t change a person’s qualities, trials just magnify what was always there. There are stories of price gouging and other ways people are taking advantage of the situation, but there are so many more stories of people doing great things.
If you are already serving, great, keep it up. If you’re not sure what to do in these ever-changing and challenging times, find a way to serve. Serving is good for others but it’s also great for us.
In all areas, Christ needs to be our example. Jesus, first and foremost, was a servant, this is our example, this is what we are called to do. God only wants what is best for us, He knows service to others is the best thing for our mental health and wellbeing. Through service, we find purpose, connection, and joy in whatever trials we are all collectively going through.
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