Be Still: Be Wise

by: Carol McClain

There’s a quirk I have. I must be fast.

As a child, when I took a test, I timed it so I wasn’t the  first finished, and I wasn’t last, but I had to hand in my paper quickly. My handwriting is a scrawl because I have to get my thoughts down. My glasswork improved only after I slowed down. Today, when I solder, I repeat my mantra: “Go slow. Go slow.”

Multitasking, efficiency, watching experts who work quickly push me to rush. But…

When we rush, we miss so much.

In this blog I’ve written about friends who love wildflowers. When we hike, I push to get us to the end of the trail. They slow me down because the smell of a spring beauty intoxicates them. A jack-in-the-pulpit is a prize to be treasured. My hikes are so much richer because we take them slow.

In today’s world, the news cycle bombards us. We hear scary numbers of the Covid-19 and panic. We don’t slow and look at the whole picture. With 328,000,000+ people in the country, 2,000,000+ contracted the virus. That’s .6%. That’s tiny. Do we need to panic? If you’re worried even knowing these statistics, then by all means be quite cautious. Otherwise, live your life, but respect others.

Police brutality cut down George Floyd. The cops, according to the account, should be prosecuted. This is not what we pay policemen to do. However, when we look at statistics, proportionately police murders of black men pale in comparison to black men killing their peers. It doesn’t make it right—that’s underscored and exclaimed.

When a news cycle happens, we need to stop and think. We need to listen to two rational sides. We need to lay aside our ideologies and listen for the truth.

Do I know the truth in both these current events? No. But I’ve heard both sides, and my conclusion is:

  1. Most police work hard to work as they were trained to work.
  2. Most encounters by black men with police do not end in violence.
  3. Statistics can say whatever you want them to say. It’s the spin.

To check on my percentages for Covid-19, I talked to a dear friend. Politically and socially, we disagree. Still, he is a dear friend I’d fight to the death to protect. Differences of opinion do not need to end in mindless rejection.

I don’t know what is true about society today. I do know what keeps me sane. Keeps me centered. Keeps me in control despite society’s spin.

“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength’ “(Is. 30:15, NASB).

I will trust God and leave my life in His hands. I will be rational in our racial unrest and Covid-19 fears. I can’t change the world, as I am not willing to change my math friend’s mind. Quietness and trust is our strength.

The sad part of the above verse is the last sentence I did not include. “But you were not willing…” When we’re not willing to trust or to listen, we all lose.

Be willing to repent. Be willing to listen. Hear both sides. Form your beliefs, and don’t condemn those who disagree.

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