Monday, April 5, 2021

You Can Receive The Ultimate Vaccine -- A Shot To The Heart!

In early March, the state of Indiana lowered the qualifying age for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to 50. Since yesterday was my 56th birthday (on Easter!), I definitely qualified.
I immediately registered and on March 18, 2021 I received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine. I'll be getting my second, and final, Moderna shot on April 19. At the time that I received the first shot, only 21 percent of the U.S. population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Experts say that in order to achieve a herd immunity against COVID-19, at least 70 percent to 80 percent of a population must be vaccinated.

It has been interesting to read the myriad of news reports regarding public opinion swirling around the Coronavirus vaccine. There are those who are completely against it, others who are tentative, and some that are scrambling to vaccination sites without hesitation. I'm sure my receiving the vaccine will be viewed by some as unwise while others will agree with my decision. I wonder if a similar public debate occurred back in 1942 when the influenza vaccine was introduced.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could have a vaccine to treat bad attitudes; poor judgments; racial discrimination; ageism; abuse; neglect; violence; and so many other ailments of society? Imagine... just walk into a clinic and pick out the vaccine you want in an effort to make the world a better place for yourself and others. I know that's not realistic and some who are reading this may choose to abandon this writing before reaching the end. I'm asking you to hold on for a little while longer, particularly if you're a Millennial (between the ages of 25 and 40).

Getting back to this thought of receiving a vaccination to treat bad attitudes, poor judgments, and more, I can tell you that such a vaccine does indeed exist. You don't have to get it by receiving a needle in your arm or swallowing a pill. You simply have to put your eyes on it, read it, and accept it into your heart. I guess that you can say it's a shot to the heart. I'm talking about reading God's Word -- the Bible. Many people have never put their faith in God and His Word, and they've avoided His "spiritual vaccination" to their personal detriment. I recently saw a video which featured a 20-something female saying that the Bible is only for "old white people." What a sad -- and lost -- statement for a young person to make!

The American Bible Society shared some unsettling trends in its annual "State of the Bible" survey. Bible skepticism is on the rise compared to previous years. Many are "too busy" to read the Bible despite its unprecedented availability -- even in app form where it can be read to you, or you can set a reminder to read through a reading plan. Sadly, the Bible generally sits on a shelf until a crisis. Most readers report that they are drawn to search it out for answers to life's questions, or when they are in need of comfort or answers for tough situations they may be facing. The survey also shows that not only are Millennials more likely to be skeptical toward Scripture, they are also less likely to read the Bible, less likely to own a Bible, and less likely to believe the Bible contains everything a person needs to know to live a meaningful life. Also, only 30 percent of Millennials believe that the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. Given the increase in Millennials who don't believe the Bible is sacred, as well as the decrease in Bible awareness among Millennials, Bible skepticism will likely continue to rise.

AARP (American Association of Retired People) asked a group of Millennials at what age a person is "old." Those responding generally considered 50 and over as "old." Since I just celebrated my 56th birthday, I would definitely be considered old by most of today's Millennials -- and, as mentioned, there are some Millennials who believe that the Bible is only for "old white people." It's sad to see that the Millennial generation has such a narrow focus on age and on the Bible. Before they know it, they'll be in that 50+ age demographic and perhaps once they have several difficult adult life experiences behind them they'll learn two things: that you're only old if you sit down and say you're old, and that the Bible is truly God's Word and offers far more than what their generation believes.

By the way, if you're a Millennial and have read this far you should know about Bjorn Suneson, a 73-year-old Swedish man who has run solo across the United States 7 times -- averaging about 30 miles per day pushing a support stroller of gear, food and water. Why does he do it? Because he likes learning about America, meeting Americans, and writing about the American culture for his global blog readers to enjoy. His first run across the U.S.A. occurred when he was 58 years old! Between the ages of 58 and 71 he ran 7 times across America for a distance of over 22,000 miles! Trust me, Millennials... age is just a number! Oh, and by the way, Bjorn is aiming to run across America again this year -- which would be his 8th crossing of the continent.

From Him, Through Him, For Him (Romans 11:36),