I found myself edging toward a panic mode this week … not actually to the point of having “wild unthinking behavior” but becoming stagnant while looking at all that needed to be done in a very short period of time.  Of Course, the longer I hesitated, the less time I had to accomplish those things, while that list of things was not getting any shorter.  In that light I guess I should more realistically admit that my stagnation was wild unthinking behavior – or, better yet, wild overthinking non-behavior!

Of course, it would have been easy for me to blame the pandemic – or the new administration – or the old one – or our governor – or – or – or … After all, the blame game is really popular these days.  The problem with this game, in my eyes, is that it is nothing more than “wild unthinking behavior” because it does not provide any solutions or forward movement (in my eyes, pathology has only limited value).

Getting back to the pandemic, it certainly does feel as though it is pushing people in many directions.  “What are you wearing (below the waist), Jake?”  “What are you weighing (compared to a year ago), Jack?”  “How tolerant are you (of the other side), Polly?”  “Does the hat someone is wearing (TRUMP or BIDEN) change your hello, Dolly?”

Now, I know, that is just a short list of mostly negative directions the pandemic has pushed us.  There are many positive ones, as well.  It has nudged us toward quieter lifestyles.  It has pushed us into spending more time at home with family.  Many are finding more time for Bible reading and prayer, along with a greater appreciation for things long overlooked.  If this paragraph describes you better than the previous one, you can thank Jesus that it is he, and not the pandemic, that is really pushing you these days

If this is the case, then you already know who the main pusher is in the opposite direction – our old “adversary the devil prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5.8) He was the DEMon in the middle of my near PAN … IC this week.  And few things will give him more pleasure than to push any one of us into “wild unthinking behavior” … or, for that matter, well thought out harmful behavior!

Fortunately 1 Peter 5 continues: “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.  And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To him be the dominion forever and ever.” (1 Peter 5.9-11)

Now, I am quite comfortable with Jake and Jack, but Polly and Dolly are producing way too much “wild unthinking behavior” amongst us.  I see the PAN IC button being pushed on Face Book and in conversations repeatedly. Many others, while generally resisting the “wild unthinking behavior” that old adversary prowling around seeks to devour us with, are instead caught, as I was earlier this week, in “wild overthinking non-behavior”.

Neither behavior is part of the solution … “But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15.57) “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. … thus in all things (like when we are being pushed toward unhealthy behaviors or non-behaviors) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us … Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.26-39) And, if you are really looking to give that lion a kick in the face, I suggest you read how Jesus did it in Matthew 4.1-11 … You might even find yourself kicking the PAN–dem –IC at the same time.

PAN – dem – IC