fear or forward onWorry and panic are clawing into everyone’s psyche these days as COVID-19 creates scary headlines around the globe. But the novel coronavirus is not exactly the horrific bubonic plaque of the 1300s that killed an estimated 75 million to 100 million throughout Europe. Nope. Not even close. And it will not be.

Why? Because the planet continues to devise ever-expanding advances in epidemiology and disease prevention. Well, that is if everyday folks, like you and me, would cooperate and thoroughly wash our hands with soap and water and stop coughing and sneezing like a free-range rhinoceros without any respect for others around them. Science can only progress us so far, people; the rest is up to our common sense. But enough of my sanitation sermonette.

You know what I think could drastically maim and kill off mankind in the meantime? Fear. It is one of the most virulent pathogens known in history. Fear bulldozes its way into our lives. Uninvited. Unwilling to leave. Being afraid keeps us sidelined and imprisoned in puny thinking. Without buying a ticket, we have a front-row seat to Fear or Forward On. Whose team do you want to be on?

Author Max Lucado shares the following poignant thoughts on how courage and faith counter our angst, anxiety, and worry. I have shared Max’s insights before, but in light of our present health challenge, I hope he boosts you with courage and a fresh perspective. COVID-19 is going down, my friends. May it putter out long before our bravery and our common sense (see hygiene tips below).

The Big Bully

“Fear, it seems, has taken a hundred-year lease on the building next-door and set up shop. Oversize and rude, fear is unwilling to share the heart with happiness. Happiness complies. Do you ever see the two together? Can one be happy and afraid at the same time? Clear thinking and afraid? Confident and afraid? Merciful and afraid? No. Fear is the big bully in the high school hallway: brash, loud, and unproductive. For all the noise fear makes and room it takes, fear does little good.

Walking Out on Fear

Fear never wrote a symphony or poem, negotiated a peace treaty, or cured a disease . . . . never pulled a family out of poverty or a country out of bigotry . . . . Fear never saved a marriage or a business. Courage did that. Faith did that.

People who refused to consult or cower to their timidities did that. But fear itself? Fear herds us into a prison and slams the doors. Wouldn’t it be great to walk out?”

From Imagine Your Life Without Fear, Max Lucado, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2009), pp. 11–12.

Common Sense Tips to Stop COVID-19 Dead:
  • Scrub your hands up to your wrists with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Yes, belt out the “Happy Birthday” song twice if that motivates you and helps you count.
  • Sneeze and/or cough into a tissue and throw the soiled tissue in a lined trash can before washing your hands thoroughly.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unclean hands.
  • See more disease prevention tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here.