Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:5
Today I turned 62. Today, we were supposed to start Big Dogs Road Trip. Unfortunately, Corvid 19 changed those plans. As we heard about National and State parks closing and received emails from tour companies cancelling our reservations, I sunk deeper and deeper into a pit of self-pity and fear. All that time invested in creating an itinerary and making reservations wasted. Would we ever get to see the sites that I researched and long for? Would old age or disease catch us before we can? Should we cancel everything? Could we pick up the route along the way and maybe visit the other places another time? What does the future hold? What does retirement hold? Because with all the planning and dreaming, I avoided really thinking about what retirement involves. I just act like I am on an extended vacation. What will it mean for me to never return to the career that I loved? Suddenly, life looks like endless cleaning of dirty paw prints from the floor, sorting piles of stuff left on the kitchen counters, cooking three meals a day and tackling a never-ending laundry basket. I do not want to think about spending my life with only those options. A friend asked me if I was depressed. She was correct. Another friend asked me if I thought the whole pandemic, while real, might be escalated in importance as a way for “those in control” to manufacture a crisis placing the rest of us economically and mentally even stronger under their thumbs. I admitted that I had those same thoughts, but as we talked through our conspiracy theories, I realized something. I want control. I want control of my life, of where I will go, what I will do and when I will do it. Just look at our road trip plans as evidence. And if I lose control, then, someone else must have taken it, right? Maybe a political party, maybe an economic class, maybe even the scientists. Because someone must be in charge and if it isn’t me, then, who is it? I was taught from birth that God is in control. But now, I wondered. Is He really? Is our world just a spinning mass of viruses? I know people have been asking those questions since humans’ brains experienced the first synapse. And the second synapse probably contained the question “Why me?” Just admitting I don’t know means I am less in control than I want to be. During that messy line of thinking, Glen talked me into going to the beach. I walked on the shore and watched the waves ebb and flow over the sand. I looked at the Gulf and the setting sun. And I made that leap of faith that I always do, from “I don’t know” and “Why me?” to the answer that brings peace. I don’t know. I am not in control. But I chose to trust that Someone does. And for now, that must be enough.