Pandemic Life in Hooterville

Is it ok to say this whole “pandemic” thing has had me the least little bit stressed?

I don’t even mean the virus itself. I pray over that whole mess and leave it there. The sudden change to my predictable rut is what’s had me out of sorts. 

The biggest obstacle I’ve had working from home turned out to be unreliable internet. Rainy days ruined any hopes for connecting to the work world. For awhile I felt like I lived in Hooterville –  went outside looking for a telephone pole to climb.

It turns out my former internet supplier had things hooked up inside a plastic box by the side of the road where rain runoff could flood and/or a car could slide into and knock the whole thing to kingdom come. I do live in Hooterville! I even had to set up shop at my neighbor’s house for a few days until we switched over to a new provider.

In the midst of all this, my day job hasn’t slowed down a bit. This is probably the busiest time of year for a medical school, so I have been mucho busy (and stressed!) learning how to lend support via electronic means and making sure the learning environment still happened for our group. 

My technical creativity went up, while my writing creativity took a bit of a nosedive. Writing anything worth reading was just not happening. My brain felt like it had taken one too many rides on the tilt-a-whirl. Jesus take the wheel!

I decided that the tide had to turn or I was going to go get a job at the doughnut factory and forget everything else. That’s my contingency plan, anyway.  Getting up early every morning to go make the doughnuts isn’t the worse thing that could happen.

Until I resign myself to rolling out dough for a living, I will be writing the dough. Maybe I’ll invent blog doughnuts with messages on them. See, I know God has a perfect plan for me. Why else would He give me all these whacky ideas? Some will come to life in this blog, some in books and in other avenues. 

The bottom line is that even though I get stressed, I don’t have to let stress overtake me and have me so turned around that I can’t even find my way out of a paper bag.

I think it’s the same for all of us. Fear will present itself. It tries to look like a big ‘ol bully coming in to steal your lunch, eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and then pop the bag  in your face. Fear don’t care.

The truth is, fear is only as big as you let it be in your life. There is a defense that’s way more reliable than gloves and masks (no, I’m not saying don’t wear your gloves and masks). When you get into God’s Word and find out what He says about you and about standing up to fear, you’ll realize that you don’t have to run off and hide from everything. You can stand strong in faith.

So, make a decision to live! Live in the face of all the bad news. In fact, turn off the news. Let go of stress. Live like you’ve never lived before.

Go forward on purpose.

The Hebrew Children as Southerners

I recently heard a term I’d never knew existed – Southern Israelite. As you might guess, this created all kinds of interesting images and wonderings in my head (hee hee).

What if the Children of Israel had been Southerners….

I looked up the term “Southern Israelite” and found out it’s some kind of flat earth group. This post, however, is entirely based on my imagination and all it conjured up when I  learned that there was such a thing.

One of my first thoughts – What would a Southern Israelite eat? Unleavened cornbread?

How about the scenario when they were wandering around in the wilderness. They complained about everything, you know.

They weren’t happy with the food God supplied. Can you imagine –  free food falling out of the sky and that bunch complained about it…

“Manna again? Think you could rain down a little barbecue sauce to go with this? Maybe a little Texas Pete, Lord?”

It’s a thousand wonders that God didn’t barbecue THEM!

Then there was Moses having to deal with all that mess of people. I’m sure he got ticked off more than once – “What in tarnation do you think you’re doing?”

“See what you made me do — I’m sa mad I could just hit this rock. If you don’t have any water to drink, don’t come crying to me.”

I can also imagine the convoy they had trailing across the desert.  The wagons and camels decked out in the colors of all their tribes with little flags flapping in the breeze, Dale Earnhardt stickers on the back. I think that’s where trailer parks got started. It may also be where impromptu fiddlin’ jam sessions started — “ya got time to breathe, ya got time for music.” (borrowed from Briscoe Darling, of Andy Griffith fame; but I think he got it from Moses)

And no Southern event is complete without a covered dish dinner, especially a church crowd  — bring on the manna ‘n cheese! Hang out with the Southern crowd and you’ll never go hungry.

One thing about it, Southern Israelites would be an interesting bunch. Living the mobile life presents its challenges, but then, Southerners are known for their creativity. The women surely found a way to survive life on the road. Need your hair did? Just pop into Big Hebrew Hair for the latest style.

In the end, when they reached the Promised Land, I can imagine the Southerners ready to charge ahead and overtake the city, instead of being afraid to follow God’s command like the others were. “Shoot yeah, let’s go!” “Don’t you worry about a thing. We’ll git ‘em!”

I think I’ve gone to church with a few of their descendants.

As the Old Testament reports, the group eventually crossed over into the Promised Land, took the wheels off the trailers and settled in. I’m sure they had a big hoedown with plenty of food and music. Can you imagine all the grills it took to cook up enough hamburgers for that bunch?!