Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
The talk of relaxing our rules and regulation began last week. Some protested their rights to return to work, some have been hiding away in their homes, and some have just watched all the bickering and fighting transpire. I watched as our governor, here in Ohio, spoke to us about his concerns and ideas on reopening the economy. Things he said comforted me, but other things made me filled with anxiety. I began to reflect on what it would look like to relax a little bit and maybe not worry as much about this invisible enemy that we are all fighting.
Growing up I played my share of softball and golf. Both required the great skill of keeping your eye on the ball. In softball, as I stood to bat, I often had great anxiety of missing the perfect pitch, of swinging too high at the ball. My coach continued to yell out, “Keep your eye on the ball, Anne.” When I did as he said, more than half the time I would get a hit. It wasn’t perfect, but it certainly helped my game. In golf, the percentage of hits increased dramatically when I kept my eye on the ball. The game requires that you concentrate, watch the ball, swing high while in position, and line-up your body to control where the ball lands. Keeping your eye on the ball was essential to a good game of golf. In fact, it kept me sane. I had a competitive streak that was similar to my dad’s. When I didn’t do well in the game, I found myself frustrated and mad at myself. I could hardly bare to continue to play when I had a bad day. My life today looks a lot like a bad golf game.
Keeping my eye on the ball not only kept my spirits high, but also made me a strong, competitive player.
That is why I am beginning to worry about relaxing regulations for this virus. I am not worried about the actual relaxing because in my heart, I feel like that needs to happen. We need to battle out the fear that is in our hearts. What I worry about is people keeping their eye on the ball.
If we get back to “life as normal,” then we just may forget that we are still in a war. A war against an unknown enemy.
If we get back to “life as normal,” then we may forget that there are people dying every day because they are exposed to this virus by unknown asymptomatic people.
God called us in Ephesians, just like my coach, to keep your eye on the ball. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop arming yourself for the battle. It isn’t over. Stand firm. Keep your feet in position, and most importantly….keep your eye on the ball.