Panic! Or, Not?

Many, many years ago I took some survival courses as part of my training to become a woodsman (too long a story for here).  Brendt Berglund, the person doing the training, was an artic survival specialist training the Canadian Armed Forces and he did a lot of search and rescue work.

In one of the sessions he asked us what we thought when we heard the word panic.  People responded with words like afraid, irrational, frantic and hysterical.  Brendt then told us a series of search and rescue stories.  In one situation, it was winter when they went out looking for someone.  They came upon a lot of snowshoe tracks.  So, they stopped and waited and sure enough the person they were looking for came along.  In another case they tracked a person through the woods, across a road and back into the woods.  They finally found that person sitting on a log.

In both cases the people who were lost thought they were in complete control.  The first person kept seeing more and more snowshoe tracks and thought that they were getting closer and closer to civilization, rather than what they were doing, which was following their own tracks in a very large circle.  The second person was following the sun and looking at the moss growing on trees and never even noticed the road.  They both were in a state of panic, but thought that they were in control and that they were making rational decisions.

I have noticed a lot of fear, especially over this past week.  Fear in and of itself is not a bad thing.  Healthy fear keeps us from doing even more stupid things then we usually do.  But, there is a big difference between being genuinely careful about a potentially dangerous situation and panicking.

At this time, it is good to take precautions. Covid-19 has not peaked yet.  And, while as of this writing there are only 21 cases in Peel, it will spread.  I’m 65 now, and while I neither feel it, nor act like it, I’m told that I should be cautious.  So, I will.  But, I refuse to be crippled by this outbreak and I refuse to panic and make foolish decisions.

The Journey serves a wide variety of people.  People from many nations, many cultures and many faith traditions.  As you know, or may not know, I am a Christian pastor.  I look to my own faith at times like this and take my strength and comfort in that faith.  On the last day of Jesus’ life and ministry he sat down with his disciples and had a meal with them.  He spoke to them for a long time about a lot of things.  He knew that by this time the next day he would be dead, so these were important words that he spoke.  One of those things he said was:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27

I would offer to you that peace.  It is available to all of us, no matter where we come from, no matter what our background.  That peace, in this time of fear, is ours to embrace.

  • Kevin.

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