The 19th of July is fast approaching, and the date is much anticipated by the vast majority of the UK. It is the day when various strict COVID related regulations will be eased or completely lifted. The date entered the public’s vocabulary as ‘Freedom Day’. Some are planning parties, and some kind of ceremonial disposal, even burning of face coverings to mark the end of lockdown, restrictions and the rule of COVID.
It appears that many treat the 19 July as a threshold, as if when they will step through it COVID-19 will lose all its infectious power and we will not need to be careful, we will be able to abandon all precautions and forget about all safety advice. It is a wishful thinking, and both dangerous and unrealistic one.
It is sad to see people committing the same mistake over and over again, anticipating that radical transformations will happen instanteniously. When the Romanian dictator, Ceausescu and his wife were executed on Christmas Day, 25 December 1989, we knew that Communism was over, but hardly anything changed in our daily life by 26 December. There were still empty shops, food shortages, crowded buses and poor health care. It took a long time until things changed in all those areas. In a similar fashion many in the West and perhaps in the East as well expected that everything will be different overnight in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, people will gladly embrace, and practice western style democracy and peace and happiness will rule in the country straight away.
Christians know (or should know) that change and transformation, especially on a large scale do not happen instantly. When one comes to faith in Jesus Christ, yes, the person is a new creation, but it takes time for the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from all our sins, guilt, and ungodly habits and practices (usually because of our resistance to him!) until we will be indeed free from those influences and Freedom Day truly arrives. All Christians must watch and pray, be alert not letting sin and evil to overcome them, just because they are saved. The Apostle Peter wrote:
“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, stand firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8-9a).
Peter’s words are wise and timely advice to us both on spiritual and health front! Just because most regulations will be eased you must not be complacent. COVID is not gone yet! Take to heart the advice of the Apostle, be alert, wise, and responsible. Give thanks to God for His mercy that we have vaccines, health care, and that the regulations are being eased and pray for His wisdom and protection.