THE HABITUAL VIRUS

by CHARLES ROBEY
(MOODY AL USA)

PROLOGUE

We humans may not readily admit it, but we are creatures of habit. When we dress, we may put on the right shoe, then the left. We drive the same route to work. We shop the same grocery store. We eat at the same restaurant. We play the same genre of music. We watch the same TV shows. And on and on. Our habitual routine is what makes our day.

When our habitual life style gets interrupted, for whatever cause, we tend to get a little distressed, don’t we? And we may say things or do things that are outside of our normal comfort zone. When the characteristics of our customary life style have been violated, be it health, economy, work, family, play etc. We then tend to go off half cocked and let somebody have it straight between the ears. You see, I know for I’ve been there and done that, as the saying goes.

There is a solution, it’s called trust through faith. (Hebrews 11:1,6) So, will you please read Psalm Ninety-One in connection with the reading of this blog?

(Dr. Charles Ryrie explains it this way) "This psalm of trust may be outlined as follows: the basis of security found in the character (vv. 1-2) and care (vv.3-8) of God; and the blessings of security (His protection, vv.9-13, and His love, vv.14-16)."

Now on with our story “The Habitual Virus”

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

It all started with a vision. Not an ordinary vision, but one full of aggressive action. What prompted the gist of such a vision I’ll never know. Could it be my cynical disbelief of America’s news media? Could it have been my conservative view of today’s politics?

I was suddenly transported from my man cave into the concourse of a large indoor shopping mall. How this happened, I’ve not a clue. It just happened. It was a real-life action movie. People were all acting like I had never seen them act before. It was total chaos and madness. I was glad I had renewed my concealed carry permit, as my first impulse was my personal protection.

People were milling around more than was customary and the scene was surely one of concern. Everyone seemed radically unpredictable. Some people were shouting loudly at others for no apparent reason. Some were hustling and rushing around within the visible shops, grabbing various domestic necessaries from the hands of others as they moved around the stores. Others just seemed to be standing around, lost and crying profusely, not knowing which way to turn. There was even a man of the cloth, praying earnestly with a group of them.

"I know this must be a dream or vision, but is this really America, the land of the free, the home of the brave? And can we depend on God during this time? I surely hope so. If we ever needed Him, we certainly need Him now. I remember seeing news reels of other countries, but I don’t ever recall seeing such an act of past regression within this great country of ours,” I thought.

I decided to sit awhile in the seating area, in hopes that this scene would blow over. I was really tired, but the scene didn’t change much. If anything, it got progressively worse. Women screamed at their men and the men returned the hostility with interest. I heard plenty mentions of God, but certainly in the wrong context.

“Will this temper tantrum ever stop?" I wondered quietly as I looked around my seat. Then it all suddenly drew into focus when a nice elderly security guard silently tapped me on the shoulder, motioning me to come follow him. He must have been divinely directed because he was a Godsend to me.

We moved forward to a large electronic information bulletin panel located in the middle of the mall. How could I have missed this? It was extremely large and blinking to draw attention. The information was very precise and directed towards the mall customers. The heading blinked the following:

CAUTION ALL CUSTOMERS AND VENDORS - THIS MALL IS NOW ON HIGH ALERT

"Effective immediately, this mall is not responsible for the actions of its customers and vendors as our county is on high alert. We are under voluntary quarantine for the Habitual Virus. Effective tonight at midnight, this mall will remain closed until further notice. Symptoms of this progressive virus include, but are not limited to, sudden irrational misbehavior, fits of anger, store looting, abusive language, and fighting among customers, including the infliction of harm, minor and critical, towards all vendors. The mall will not be held responsible for such unprovoked actions. We trust that you will understand that these drastic measures are necessary for your personal protection. You will be notified through local media when this Habitual Virus Pandemic is over. Thank You- The Management"

My unexpected escort must have read my bewildered mind since he quickly responded to my dumbfounded look.

“I realize, my good friend, this is not the norm for this great country’s history, but its evil-generated progression (Ephesians 6:12) is growing rapidly," he said. "We all must tackle this ongoing social problem before this virus gets totally out of hand.”

“You see, the key element to this ongoing virus is greed," he went on. "It's a cultural progression of the 'me, myself, and I' syndrome.” We in Christian circles label this Habitual Virus as it is simply the reoccurrence of sin. Its infected participants can never find any good within Christianity or its divine source. They have all basically given up on Religion."

Removing his Bible from his pocket, this newly-found security guard started reading, in front of all this crowded mall’s customers. He seemed not to be bothered by the attention, as he forcefully read (II Timothy 3:1-9,13) followed by (II Timothy 4:3-4).

Wow, this is surely a man of God, positioned here for a time such as this. “Sir can we sit and talk for a while?" I responded. "I have many questions I think you can help me with.”

Not saying a word, he handed me a hand-written piece of paper, then suddenly disappeared from sight. And so did the entire mall scene. The vision was over.

I found myself back in my old man cave, sitting wide awake, mulling over what I had just been through. It was a vision, yes, but it didn’t much matter. It had drawn my attention to the problem and its cure, for still crumpled up in my hand was the piece of paper the man had handed me. Opening it, I found the Scriptural answer in (II Timothy 3:16-17). Opening my Bible, I found my work laid out for me. Amen!

EPILOGUE

How might a genuine virus causing such outward conduct as found in this little fiction blog come about? How does a progressive, socially cultured environment, as is rapidly developing in America, foster such conduct? One need only research history to find the answer, as well as the solution, to such a development.

It might be a dissonance of two distinct main lifestyles, that of socialism versus capitalism. Look at the world scene by way of TV news. There, you will find an answer. Yet this is still not the root of the problem.

Well, here it is. This progressive culture was actually started by the onset of sin, as displayed within the Garden of Eden with the sin of our first parents when they disobeyed their heavenly Father. (Genesis 3:1-7)

"Sickness came with Adam & Eve's disobedience, which resulted in a fallen, damaged, broken, and diseased world. Original sin is the sin that we are born with, the sin we inherited from Adam and Eve. A person's illness can be the result of the general condition of the world (original sin); or it can be a result of personal choices/sin (actual sin). For instance, a person who smokes and develops lung cancer is paying the price for his/her choice to smoke. However, there are people with lung cancer who have never smoked. Are they ill because of their own action? Probably not. It is likely that the cancer in this case is the result of living in a sinful world."(Anonymous Internet Quote)

This inherited sin, and its resulting effects didn’t stop there. It continues on today in our fallen world. Simply put we are, and have been, fighting a spiritual, unseen war, a war of good versus evil. (Ephesians 6:12)

You see, "the believer’s enemies are the demonic hosts of Satan, always assembled for mortal combat." (Dr. Charles Ryrie)

And with sin comes the after-effect of disease. As you know, we have had one virus after another throughout history. This problem will remain with us until our future divine perfect world. Please read my blog entitled “When Panic Strikes” on this same web site.

So, how did you like this little play on words and on reality? Your comments are welcome.

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