“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” -Mark 8:36”
IF YOU were watching the news last week, you would’ve seen that stocks across the globe posted their largest weekly loss in three months as volatile trading in the markets continued, raising concerns about over excess amongst investors. In other words, it back to the good old days in Wall Street and the City.
It would seem somewhat counter-intuitive that during a pandemic that investors are rushing to make the next quick buck and not taking a more self-reflective approach given that so many lives have been lost – and still are every single day because of Covid-19. Interestingly, during the first few months of the pandemic, research showed that there was a 50 per cent surge in online searches for prayer as people turned to religion to cope with feelings of anxiety and hopelessness.
In March 2020, the share of Google searches for prayer surged to the highest level ever recorded, surpassing all other major events that otherwise call for prayer, such as Christmas, Easter and Ramadan. Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, associate professor of economics at the University of Copenhagen, who led the research found that the level of prayer searches in March 2020 was more than 50 per cent higher than the average during February 2020.
“Google searches for prayer, as a share of all Google searches, provides a signal of people’s interest in real time,” according Bentzen.“In times of crisis, humans have a tendency to turn to religion for comfort and explanation. The theory is called religious coping and the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic is no exception” she said.
However, as the months have passed the world has turned their attention away from life and death, heaven and hell and back to the things that occupied them before the virus. But we must not kid ourselves. Indeed, in the Book of Luke, Jesus tells the story of rich man who had thought that he had it all. He built his barns and even had the tenacity to tear down more barns and build more – devoting his life and soul in building a fruitful life – apart from God. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ (Luke 12:20). Furthermore, Jesus tells his disciples that, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
It is therefore a reminder to us all that we should work on our salvation with “fear and trembling” knowing that at any time, our soul could be required of by our Maker. And so it is time for us to refocus our minds on God knowing that all the material & superficial possessions that have cluttered our soul won’t be worth a dime when all is said and done…