|Things are surely different right now. Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the House vote on the economic stimulus package. After two weeks of continuous teleconferences and phone calls, I was looking forward to it, but well aware of the need to keep distance from others and continuously wash my hands. What I wasn’t prepared for was just how different things really were out there – the massive impact this health crisis has had on our culture. The Atlanta airport was eerily quiet as I, and only five other passengers, went through the only open TSA checkpoint at a prime travel time. A handful of people were using the trains between the terminals, and half of those were wearing masks, some were wearing rubber gloves, and one lady had even added a bright orange garbage bag over her clothes. The same scene was repeated at the airport in Washington D.C. The terminal was virtually empty, and all the shops, kiosks and restaurants were closed – in the middle of the morning. Although a couple hundred U.S. Representatives were in Washington for the vote, the normally bustling office buildings were hollow hallways, as everyone isolated, alone, in our offices, as directed, until called to the floor for the vote. As I walked the marble hallways, my footsteps echoed off the marble floors, resonating with the reality that things are now very different. |
But the question on the minds of many is, have things changed forever?
Life as we know it in America has been disrupted at every level because an invisible enemy has invaded our land and is attacking our people. Clearly, the COVID-19 outbreak is one of the greatest challenges of our time, but this is not the first time we have faced overwhelming adversity. This isn’t our first pandemic, or the first invasion of our homeland, and it isn’t our first financial crisis. We have faced these types of challenges throughout the history of our country; and, in every instance, we have come through them and emerged stronger as a nation. Instances that come to mind are…
In 1746, a foreign naval armada was bearing down on the eastern coast of the colonies, to ravage our cities and invade our land. However, just before they reached our shores, a storm emerged – devastating the armada, causing some to perish, and the rest to turn back to their homeland.
During our war for independence, the British occupied Philadelphia and the Continental Army made camp in an area known as Valley Forge. Disease, starvation, and the the frigid winter weather appeared to spell doom for our cause of freedom. Instead, Valley Forge became a turning point. The struggles for survival made Commander George Washington and our troops stronger, more resilient, and even more dedicated to the cause. And the inexplicable appearance of a self-proclaimed German baron, well versed in military drill and tactics, helped sharpen the discipline and combat skills of the American soldiers.
In the closing months of WWII, allied forces had been nearly decimated during the surprise Nazi invasion at Belgium, and Americans found themselves surrounded by superior enemy forces. Consistent freezing temperatures and blizzard-like conditions prohibited allied air forces from providing firepower, or resupplying our destitute soldiers. One of the American units facing annihilation was the 101st Airborne, sent to hold the town of Bastogne. When Gen. Anthony McAuliffe refused to surrender to the German forces surrounding the town, it appeared the Americans were doomed; however, before the Germans could launch their final attack, the skies miraculously cleared, and American air forces soon drove them back into Germany.
In each of these instances, the circumstances were dire; but, in every case, America overcame and emerged victorious. In each instance, the American people had turned to God in prayer, and He answered. Another factor in each instance was our leaders, who didn’t focus on the circumstances, but focused on a greater vision of freedom. If you only listen to the mainstream media and those on social media, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the hype and circumstances of the moment.
While things are definitely different right now, we will come out of this crisis. Some are asking, will we ever get our nation back to what it was before this pandemic? I’m not sure that is the proper question. I believe we should be thinking, what we can do to make things even better than they were before. Across the nation, people are praying for America; and, as always, God will answer and show us the way. It’s up to you and I to take the path he opens for us, and help to get our community, our state, and our America back on track, even better than before.
In the meantime, I pray you stay safe and healthy.