By Jim Voigt
We are in the middle of a great ethical dilemma right now. On one side we have the Coronavirus that can spread quickly, make people severely sick and possibly kill those who have vulnerable immune systems. On the other side we have the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. If we open up the economy full bore again, we risk the increased spread of the Coronavirus. If we don’t open up the economy, we risk possibly entering into an economic recession unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Our national and local leadership are currently weighing between the best of two bad options right now which reminds me of another story I’ve heard before.
When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he was leading them away from slavery and toward freedom. It seemed like a good deal, right up until they hit the desert while on their nomadic journey to the Promised Land. As you can imagine, there’s a little shortage of some essential items we all need in the desert: primarily food and water. In Exodus 16:3, we hear the “grateful” (that’s sarcasm) response of the Israelite people to their reluctant leader, Moses: “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt. There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into the desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
When the going got tough, some of the Israelites preferred the predictability of being well fed slaves to the fear related of possibly starving as free people. During this gradual re-opening of our economy, remember there is no going back to the way it was. There are only the decisions we make that lead us further and further into the great unknown of tomorrow. When it comes to the spread of COVID-19 or the re-opening of our economy, I would argue that there isn’t a decision to be made that is free from errors and difficulties. There is only the hard journey of trial and error through a pandemic issue that none of us have ever seen before. We have our faith, our attitudes and community to help us get to the other side. The Lord teaches us and guides along the way. Now, of course, we will complain about things at times—that’s a historical fact. But with God, we will pray for our leaders and make the journey together.