I was a high school student in the 1960s when the Sputnik crisis came and great new emphasis was put on science.
“Science” was the new god that was going to make everything possible. I graduated thinking that I was heading for the Age of Aquarius, where all problems were going to be solved by man.
For awhile after that, the world lived in the belief that man was indeed all-powerful and that the technology man created would put nature and human development at our beck and call. Man was in control!
Then along came 2020. If you think you control anything, just look at what this year has brought us.
Fires raged out of control in California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado all summer and are still burning thousands of acres. If all those smart westerners can’t control a fire, who can?
Another tropical storm is headed our way. So far, man has no way of diverting these storms that have wreaked havoc in coastal areas this year.
Some scientists blame all these disasters on global warming, which liberals say is man’s fault. But I keep wondering how many people were flying around in airplanes and cruising the roads polluting the planet in their SUVs 7,000 years ago to cause the last global warming.
In other words, man isn’t the cause of every destructive thing that happens, and he can’t control these things when they do happen. So much for the power of man.
The biggest event that proves our inability to control life arrived this year in the form of COVID-19. All of a sudden, people were getting sick and dying, and nothing stopped it. Man had no cure for this illness. Why would we? We haven’t even figured out yet how to cure the common cold.
The best we could do was to try to separate ourselves from it. All of a sudden, you were forced to close your business, keep your kids home from school, and stay away from your workplace.
Most of our spring plans didn’t happen. We postponed weddings, cancelled reunions, turned worshipers away from churches, shut down theaters and cancelled trips. Bridal and baby showers went from being happy social occasions to quick drive-by events to leave a gift. Funerals became small private graveside affairs, no matter how important the deceased had been.
When spring sports were cancelled, many young people who had depended on the season to get college scholarships saw their hopes dashed.
We looked forward to the return of King Football this fall to make life normal again. Not so. Some schools aren’t playing at all; some are limping along on reduced schedules. Athletes are left wondering if they have a future.
Scientists told us to stay home or wear a mask, stay 6 feet from other people, and disinfect our hands frequently when we had to go out.
Despite our precautions, over 120,000 Mississippians got the virus, resulting in over 3,350 deaths so far.
I followed the precautions of the scientists and got the virus anyway. My medical professionals were unable to do anything for me except prescribe over-the-counter medicines to lighten a few of my symptoms. Man, despite our lofty opinion of his power, couldn’t cure me.
Hopefully, we’ve learned something from our experience in 2020. Going forward maybe we will make our plans more loosely and take ourselves less seriously. Maybe we’ll be a little less proud of our ability to control life.
I had to laugh at the Biden commercials in which he said that he had a plan to control coronavirus. Unless he means that we will all go into underground bunkers as he did and stay for a few years, I wouldn’t put much faith in his plan.
The Bible says that we are not to boast that “Tomorrow I will go to this or that city and transact business.” Instead we are to say, “If God wills it, I will go....” God knew that man would get too big for his britches and gave him biblical instruction for the condition.
As I write this, the country is planning for an election tomorrow. In years past, citizens could control the outcome of an election by voting for the person they wanted to govern them. One citizen, one vote. Science and technology made the process easier.
But with all the manipulating going on in the voting process now, I think it will be awhile before we even know who has “won,” and the “winner” may only be the person with the most ballots he just happens to find in the trunk of his car and can turn in at the last minute. We aren’t in control of our elections anymore, and we may never again be in control of the people who will govern us.
Oh well. If I can’t even control my dog Lizzy, who wouldn’t get up from where she was lounging behind my car to let me out of the carport this morning, and I can’t control my weight, why would I expect to be able to control life on earth?
Man is in control? Oh please.