I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system, which provides the electricity that supports our national defense, vital emergency services, critical infrastructure, economy, and way of life. The bulk-power system is a target of those seeking to commit malicious acts against the United States and its people, including malicious cyber activities, because a successful attack on our bulk-power system would present significant risks to our economy, human health and safety, and would render the United States less capable of acting in defense of itself and its allies.1
He went on to enumerate prohibitions and details for implementation to increase our safety.
During the recent weeks, the nation’s attention has been riveted on the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Threats to our health and livelihoods have caused many of us, myself included, to keep a close eye on our favorite news providers. Between local restrictions, testing sites, death tallies, and possible therapeutics, I can sit mesmerized for hours in a quest for updated information.
Meanwhile, China is pushing the limit in the Southern Seas,2 locusts and a resultant famine are about to overcome many in Africa,3 missiles have been launched from North Korea,4 and Iran is threatening our ships in the Persian Gulf.5 And now, President Trump is warning that our electric grid is under attack.
First Responders are often instructed about the dangers of “tunnel vision.” Mentally focusing on one imminent danger, a foolish firefighter might ignore peripheral dangers and put the whole crew in much deeper danger. Under extreme stress, tunnel vision can even become a physical situation where the peripheral vision is literally blurred.
The dictionary defines tunnel vision as “defective sight in which objects cannot be properly seen if not close to the center of the field of view.” In the abstract, it is “the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view.”
Has this become a national deficiency? Are we so focused on how the coronavirus pandemic affects us personally that we are overlooking other national crises?
This tunnel vision certainly can affect us as Christians as well. The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:15. “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise.” The word circumspect was borrowed from Latin circumspectus, from circumspicere, meaning "to be cautious." The basic meaning of Latin circumspicere is "to look around."6
We must keep our spiritual eyes wide open. How often are we blindsided by a temptation coming from a place we did not anticipate? Jesus said, “Behold, I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”7
The serpent has no eyelids. Its eyes are always open. Walking circumspectly we can avoid the “wiles” of our enemy, even if the attack comes from a direction we do not expect.
1. Trump. D. Executive Order on Securing the United States Bulk-Power System. The White House. Posted on whitehouse.gov May 1, 2020, accessed May 5, 2020.
2. Ebony, B. China’s military expels US Navy warship from South China Sea. New York Post. Posted on nypost.com May 1, 2020, accessed May 5, 2020.
3. Bariyo, N. and J. Parkinson. Africa Braces for a Record Wave of Locusts. Wall Street Journal. Posted on wsj.com April 29, 2020, accessed May 5, 2020.
4. Kim, H-J. North Korea Launches Missiles from Fighter Jets and Ground Batteries Ahead of Key Anniversary. Posted on time.com April 14, 2020, accessed May 5, 2020.
5. Harkins, G. Swam of Iranian Boats Harassed US Ships in Persian Gulf, Navy Says. Military.com. Posted on military.com April 15, 2020, accessed May 5, 2020.
6. Circumspect. Vocabulary.com. Posted on vocabulary.com, accessed May 5, 2020.
7. Matthew 10:16.
*Rebecca Morris Barber is Guest Services Associate at the ICR Discovery Center for Science & Earth History.