We are a week away from Easter weekend. I admit it has been difficult to focus on that with the current rearranging of life that we are all experiencing. But I want to share some thoughts regarding the importance of Easter as it relates to the pandemic of Covid-19.
It boils down to two things: implicit memory and intervention. You and I do so many things every day that are implicit memory. That is, we do things without thinking about them. This memory is in a specific area of the brain that is different from explicit memory, which is a memory that can be intentionally recalled. The most common illustration for implicit memory is riding a bike or driving a car. It just happens naturally. I am typing on a keyboard right now and it is an implicit memory.
Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscientists agree that a way to change implicit memory is through intervention. Something must happen to upset the way we normally do things or the way we are used to doing things. The intervention must be convincing enough to transform one area of the brain to another. It is not an easy process and usually does not happen without some hard work. I think back over the last month and we all know just how many things we did without thinking that have now changed. Perhaps it is what causes the weird feeling we have as we wake up these days. Norms, schedules, buying, mobility, etc. that two months ago were implicit, are an intervention.
The story of God is filled with interventions. Think about it. People operated from implicit memory in matters of beliefs, culture, religion and life. To be honest, we all do.
So, what does all this have to do with Easter? It occurred to me that God’s plan to send Jesus to change the world was the great intervention. God communicates to all creation: past, present and future, that He has the power over death. Resurrection Sunday happened and it moves us all away from living on implicit memory to cognitive thinking. God essentially says, “What do you think now? Can you accept an eternal life with me that goes far beyond this temporal one? Do not be afraid!” His promise to us of a future with him changes everything. Control, fear, anxiety, and security are what we do without thinking. Trusting his promise takes faith.
These days, could the Covid-19 be a kind of intervention that challenges our implicit memory?