I’ve always hated that feeling that I’m missing something. It never fails to gnaw at me, to cause me to toss and turn at night, and make me so singularly focused until I figure out the riddle that I could be mistaken for an autist.
It’s been happening for the past few months, and I wasn’t seeing whatever it was that I was supposed to be seeing. You know that feeling, when something registers in your subconscious, some defining event of paramount importance but you can’t put it into words, that’s what I’ve been living since about mid-March. It’s frustrating, annoying, and for someone who doesn’t like mysteries or cliffhangers, insufferable.
Yesterday my wife decided to make soup, so she sent me to the store for some ingredients she was missing. Being the dutiful husband I am, I jumped into my car without delay, and it was while driving to the store that something happened that allowed me to see what I hadn’t been able to for the longest time.
It’s less than a five-minute drive from our home to the store, but since they say most accidents happen within five miles of home, I’m more cautious running errands around town than I am on the open highway. I was signaling to turn into the store parking lot, with no oncoming traffic to speak of, when just out of habit, I threw a glance at my side mirror just in time to see a car swing to my left and pass me at breakneck speed. If I hadn’t glanced in the mirror, it would have likely been a pretty bad wreck, but that’s not the point of the story.
As the car passed me, I had a fraction of a second to take in the driver, and that’s when it all made sense. The clouds parted, the sky shone, an epiphany was had. It was a young girl, alone in the car, wearing a mask, one hand on the steering wheel, one hand holding up a cell phone.
It was in that instant that I realized what was gnawing at me, and also the underlying reason it was so jarring. Ever since the entire mask nonsense began, I’ve been noticing something that hadn’t registered. It’s mostly young people wearing the face diapers, or at least as far as I’ve seen, and that just didn’t make sense since they are the least likely to develop any serious complications.
From the young girls with the neck tattoos to the bearded hipsters with the man buns, they are the ones I see wiping down gallon bottles of booze with baby wipes and loading their carts with potato chips and despair after the requisite sanitization. Those my age and older seem to be going on about their lives just fine, not overly fearful or concerned, but not the young whose lifestyle choices are more likely to do them in than this virus.
It’s the ‘why’ of it that was gnawing at me, and all of a sudden, seeing that girl wearing her mask while trying to face time, so distracted that she almost rear-ended me, I finally got it. It’s about the illusion of control over one’s existence. It’s about trying to play god and insist that the simple act of putting on a soiled paper mask will keep you protected, safe, healthy, and immune. It’s about trying to tell God that he was wrong when He said that no man could add a day to his life by worrying.
No matter how you slice it, in the end, it’s always about rebellion. Men would rather live in terror and pretend they are in control than submit to God and know that no matter what, their lives won’t be over until He says they are over.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.