Enforced Volunteers

ebola debateAccording to their statement, Maine officials are “confident” that:

“the selfless health workers, who were brave enough to care for Ebola patients in a foreign country, will be willing to take reasonable steps to protect the residents of their own country.”

And while the State of Maine appears hopeful, clearly officials are unconvinced. So they will be enacting Plan B – “Enforced Voluntary” quarantines.

“Enforced voluntary,” now there is an oxymoron. There is, of course, no such thing as a “forced volunteer.” But, time after time, we hope people will put others first, and then we make laws when they won’t. It has been this way from the beginning. God allowed Adam & Eve the opportunity to choose right, but enacted consequences when they chose the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life.

Examine the evidence. NY’s first Ebola patient, Dr. Craig Spencer, lied to authorities about travelling around the city. He told officials he had self-quarantined when, in fact, he rode the subways, dined out, and went bowling. All of which came to light only when authorities examined his Metro card.

Consider Kaci Hickox, the nurse who has said that she has no intention of “sticking to the guidelines.” Or consider Amber Vinison, the nurse who had a 99.5-degree fever, yet flew on a commercial flight with 132 other people.

Why would these heroes, who serve the needs of others every day, be so defiant about a quarantine that would ensure the protection of millions? Because they have the freedom to choose, saying, “yes” when they want to serve and saying, “no” when they don’t. That ability is, in fact, God given to every person.

But since we know we can’t legislate morality, we attempt to legislate behavior. Jesus demonstrated a better way, but few will follow. What if, like Christ, we were to choose to do God’s will, put others ahead of ourselves, and demonstrate God’s love in a fallen world? What would that take?

It takes a complete reversal of thinking and a total change of mind, seeing the world through the eyes of God, to really change behavior. Or, as Paul said:

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:1-3).

Give it some thought. When asked to be inconvenienced for others, how do you react? Perhaps, we could all stand a little transformation in Christlikeness.

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