Cheetahs, cheaters – Look, See, Pray

Please pardon my sense of humour- using photos of cheetahs to make a point about honest character!  The coronavirus crisis is putting a spotlight on the people in public focus- the light is more intense because the lock down means there are only a few “targets” in the media.  Politicians are being subjected to scrutiny, and their slogans are not working so well. People have discovered that in a crisis “experts” are valuable and should be heeded. It will be interesting to see which careers thrive post-virus.

Cheetahs are dangerous predators; swift and deadly, but have relatively short stamina. (These were photographed safely, in a large cat reserve.) I admire them for their single-minded approach:  Sleep, hunt, eat, sleep. It helps that they are elegant and graceful. If/when we meet a cheetah in the wild, we know exactly what to expect. Nothing underhand, but potentially violent. Humans can be far more devious!

Proverbs 11 v3 is short and to the point.  “The integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin.” Let the public figure beware! However…

This crisis is putting all of us under pressure. Those who are “key workers” are striving to cope with impossible demands. Those who are confined to home are feeling pressure from loneliness- or from extended close contact with family.  What is showing of our character now the pressure is on? The old saying “you can fool some of the people…” is relevant.  We are being closely observed. What of our character and faith shows up?

Is our integrity holding us “on track”?

psalm 121 v6-7 Cheetah 064whipsnade1212 edited crop2

Hopefully one thing that shows up well is our faith.

People are scared, confused, worried, lonely.  A strong good character makes a very attractive prospect.

But honesty compels us to say that we are scared too.

And we don’t have answers.

Except this: Psalm 121:6-8 (New Living Translation)  The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.  The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”

God has given us assurance that He watches over us for good purpose. We have His protection- more, we have His Love.  With that fact to strengthen our resolve, can we be people of true integrity?  Someone, maybe just one person, can look to us and find comfort and hope.  Being a cheater doesn’t work, and we will be exposed.

We have an opportunity during this time.  Society has discovered that some of the things and people we thought important actually matter less than the bin-man, communication engineers, shop staff,  food workers, funeral directors, medical staff (and on and on).

What values will be taken onward?   Which people who have shown love, imagination, and resolve will be called heroes and heroines of this plague?  Captain Tom Moore has walked 100 laps of his garden- and raised over £12 million pounds- at the age of 99.

If we who follow Christ can demonstrate His love in action and word, think what impact that can make.

Lord- help me to become the best “me” that Your love can make. Help me hold faith with integrity, and show a compassionate heart;  and please watch over us always.  I hope, Lord, that Your face watching over us will be smiling… and Your love in us will overflow to our family, friends, colleagues, community. Help us to be good neighbours and to love You with ALL of our being. Amen.

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