Mayhem getting friskier!
A few weeks ago someone posted what I thought was a humorous picture on social media. It depicted the front cover of Time Magazine announcing their person of the year, a customary event since 1923. The Person of the Year for 2020 was Mayhem, the Allstate Insurance character who mischievously introduces all manner of chaos and disorder into people's lives. Actor Dean Winters plays this role with a comic realism. And, how funny is that, 2020 being remembered as the year of Mayhem?
2020 has been been perplexing in many respects. In my lifetime I can't remember anything like Covid 19 and the many pandemic restrictions that isolated us. The virus and our responses to it have ignited debate in just about every venue of popular opinion. We all have our read on things and social media gives us a platform to air it out. That 4.85 million Americans have tested positive for it, resulting in 159,000 deaths, is a startling reminder of the nearness of tragedy and epic disease. The ripple effect touched us in so many layers, confounding the medical community, government responsibility, economic policy, education, and so many others. There have been shortages---toilet paper, sanitizing supplies, nutritional elements, masks, ventilators, pharmaceutical products, and dozens of other common daily personal needs. Mayhem overruled the supply and demand metrics of 2020. Mayhem indeed! Large scale at that.
He's been up close and personal too. You know---quarantine, long lines, passwords, wi-fi mysteries, grocery shopping, boredom, home schooling, the virtual world, the office on the dining room table, every imaginable mishap, and a long list of inconveniences. There's been plenty of sadness too---hospitalizations with no visitors, death with limited bereavement consolation, and loneliness. Uncertainty still rules most life corridors, even five months later. We're still caught in guessing game snares. That you Mr. Mayhem.
And, then yes, you've noticed, the political season has arrived. You can hardly watch television without the candidate blather promising us the world of dreams if elected. We might as well prepare ourselves for this onslaught because Mr. Mayhem is going to get friskier during August, September, and October. In some ways we expect the fake news and hype that attends elections these days. Remember, these are exponential times and the promotional pizzazz will be fast, complex, and often anonymously tricky. You and I should prepare for it.
We all know the ups and downs of being prepared. Readiness is a value most of us would like to experience at every life crossroads. Yet, there are many unpredictable surprises in our times under the sun. They often catch us off-guard and test our endurance and steadfastness, our ability to react. Still, a glance at the calendar can remind us of actions, events, and circumstances which we can greet with expectant dread. Perhaps election season is one of them. We know it's coming. November 3 is already a focal point of our national ethos.
One aspect of our preparation is simply the knowledge that this election cycle will surround us with political jargon, promises, the leanings of political parties, candidate portrayals, columns of fake news, an admixture of factual truth and distortions, and positioning to influence our vote. The Apostle Paul warned the believers at Colossae---
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to
human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according
Colossians 2: 8, ESV
His words are especially appropriate for those of us viewing life, even elections, through the lens of a Christian worldview. It's pretty strong advice, however, for everyone. Mr. Mayhem is going to play his tricks of us until November 3. Let's be aware that he's coming, and let's buckle up the belt of truth so we an interpret his antics accurately.
Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_tzido'>tzido / 123RF Stock Photo</a>