Day 232 | Friday, 6 November 2020
Day 232 | Friday, 6 November 2020
– From the Church Mouse
I want to tell you how I was feeling the day after Election Day. I was really tired out and thought that I had been in ancient Rome watching the gladiators slug it out. Then Doug brought me an orange paint bucket and told me I had to look at what was in it. There were several weighty things, each in a padded postal envelope. One of the envelopes was addressed to the Church Mouse from the Phantom. Inside was the very thing that I had challenged the Phantom to create for me. I promised that if he did, next spring I would create a Rolling Stones rock garden for him. It made my day, my week and my month! Thank you so much, dear Phantom. It was just what I needed to get back my “get up and go.” I will begin planning and in about May of next year, we will all be able to see something very special outside the Chapel…. thanks to the Phantom of the Woodlands.
Today I want to talk to you about facts, data and the truth. We will soon be going into the dark time of the fall and winter. This year into next isn’t like our normal fall and winter seasons, where most of us here celebrate Halloween or All Soul’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Lent, Easter, Pentecost and finally the Spring of the Year and new life all around. This year we have COVID 19 traveling with us, so everything must be done in a different way. That’s why facts and data leading to truth will be so important to us.
Our early warning system, for us in New York State, are countries in Europe. Just as in the Spring of this year, we learned that our COVID 19 did not come to us from China. It came to us as a mutation from Europe. We have learned so much more now, much more than we knew in March 2020.
At this time, several countries in Europe have had to close down again, some for as long as a month. There have been a lot of mutations with this virus, as it tries to get itself into the best position to overcome our immune systems. No hard feelings, it’s just what it does. COVID 19 is a hammer and to it, we all look like nails.
Let me define facts: A fact is something you can prove to be either true or false; plus, you cannot change a fact. Data: It might be more accurate to say data collection in science which allows scientists to store and analyze important information about the subject at hand, in this case COVID 19. Let me define truth: Truth is conformity to fact or reality, to a standard or ideal; steadfastness; a statement of belief that corresponds to reality.
It has been said that the truth will set you free. I’ve also seen that before truth can set you free you have to recognize which lie is holding you hostage. Truth and facts are nothing to fear. What we need to fear is the twisting of truth, the shading of truth, the spinning of truth,,,, or worse yet, the casting of a lie as the truth. Truth can be gnarly and inconvenient. Politicians know that, whether they admit it or not.
When I started “From the Church Mouse,” I told you about the three things we had to deal with during COVID 19. One was mental fatigue, second was boredom and loneliness and third was fear. This is what I said about fear: Fear is the body's way of avoiding dangerous situations that can cause us physical and mental harm. As long as the fear is founded on tangible facts, it can be very useful. Fear can keep our actions in check, and it can trigger our natural “fight or flight” response. Fear that is unfounded in facts can impair our ability to make rational decisions, and it can jeopardize our ability to survive. Worry is a type of fear that can be based on facts but can be something that has not and may not ever happen. Don't be fearful of the unknown, don't worry about that which you cannot control period instead, keep your mind on the task before us: preparing to mitigate the threat at hand, and to concentrate on survival.
We need the truth to be prepared. We need facts and data to be prepared. Having the facts, data, and the truth doesn’t mean we are living in fear. On the contrary, we acknowledge the challenge that lays ahead this fall and winter and we are preparing for it. The surges in COVID 19 which are occurring in the central part of the country now plus the surges in Europe prompts us to gather the data and the facts and the truth to prepare ourselves. Look at what we have done so far. We have done well. Remember the acronym S.T.O.P. Stop, think, observe and plan.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus