Note: I first began writing this post in early to mid-March, only finishing it now in early April. Much has changed in our world since then, but the overall message does not.
In this episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (Q-Who), Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Guinan are discussing the events of the Enterprise’s encounter with a race of beings called the Borg.
The Borg were unlike anything humans on Earth had ever encountered in their space travels to this point. They were part human and part machine. They had an innate ability to adapt – adapt to circumstances, threats, weapons. They operated as a collective mind to achieve their goal – assimilation.
I will spare the non-Trekkies a long, detailed description of the show. But, let me simply say, the Enterprise escaped with the help of an omnipotent being called Q. Lives were lost in the battle with the Borg – 18, to be exact.
The Enterprise was in danger of being destroyed if it weren’t for one simple act by the captain. Captain Picard, realizing there was no way out, humbled himself and asked Q for help. Never mind the fact that Q was the one that introduced them to the Borg in the first place. Q obliged and all was saved.
Picard and his crew, his ship returned to their home space. But, the encounter prompted a reflective conversation with Guinan.
Picard: “Maybe Q did the right thing for the wrong reason.”
Guinan: “How so?”
Picard: “Well, perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency to prepare us for what lies ahead.”
Flatten the curve. Self-quarantine.
These are words I never thought I would type. Perhaps for a fictional story, maybe, but not as actual life.
Yet, this is the state of life in 2020.
It’s not just here in America. Quarantine life is happening around the world. Whether it is self-imposed or government ordered, people are being forced to stay home due to the threat of COVID-19 or coronavirus.
Life as we knew it has changed.
I sit here and ponder it, not so much from my own perspective, but for others.
See, I work from home. I still have a job, thankfully. My work life hasn’t been turned upside down. I’ve been working from home for nearly 20 years. I helped create a telecommuting program at a previous employer – long before the WFH acronym took hold.
My husband’s employer is still paying him despite the closure. My youngest is in college – we flew him home early from college. Checking in with relatives and none are sick from this virus. Other sicknesses and illnesses remain, but that isn’t out of the ordinary.
We have relatives and friends who have been impacted work-wise. But, they aren’t destitute. Yet, I am not oblivious to what is going on around me – in my city, state, country and world.
People are sick. People are hurting. People are panicking. People are afraid. And, people are dying.
To paraphrase Captain Picard, we’re getting a kick in our complacency right now.
The status quo has been shattered.
Comfort is now a luxury. Truth be told, comfort always was a luxury. I know I took it for granted. Maybe you did too.
Living life day after day going about our business as if that is all there was to it. Enjoying life by doing what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it. We went about living our lives like we always did.
In many ways, we were complacent as a society, as a whole.
It’s difficult to even ask the what now question. So many can only take it day by day, moment by moment right now. Foundations have been uprooted and shaken. People’s identities – once tied to careers that no longer exist – have been destroyed.
How we respond here and now will have long-lasting impact.
So how do we respond? There is no Q to blame this on. As much as people would like to blame God, He isn’t the author and creator of COVID-19. Too many want to assess blame, but that doesn’t help us in either the short or long term.
COVID-19 is our wake up call.
Wake up, Sunny. Wake up, America. Wake up, world. Wake up to your neighbor. Wake up to your city
Wake up to what’s beyond yourself. Wake up to the need around you. Wake up to the uncomfortable. Wake up to the poor and lowly. Wake up to the trust that is foolishly placed in self. Wake up to what lies ahead.
Self-sufficiency is the enemy. We need each other. No one should ever walk this earth alone. Now is the time to ask for help.
Unforgiveness is the enemy. We must forgive each other. It grows in our souls to the point of bitterness, tearing away at the love and joy that is inherent in our hearts.
Anger is the enemy. We need hope. How difficult it is to have hope when we are stroking anger’s ego day in and day out.
I know you’ve been hurt. I know you’re hurting even now. I know that you don’t want to trust anyone because of the pain they caused. No one on this earth understands how much people tore you down. How much they denied you. How much their words of worthlessness destroyed you.
He knows rejection. He knows physical pain caused by others. He knows abandonment of close friends and family. He knows the words of others – even those in authority – mocking his identity.
He has seen the effect of sickness and disease. He has seen the judgmental nature of the religious. He has seen the arrogance of those living in abundance. He has seen the effects of ignorance within cities of people.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
His desire isn’t to have us live in complacency. His desire isn’t for us to go about our daily lives as if only our world matters. His desire isn’t so we can do what we want to do when and where we want.
God’s desire always has been and always will be for a relationship with us. He love you. He loves me. Each and every one of us. And He would love to have a relationship with you and me.
Wake up. Jesus is calling.