Hulk Hogan, the professional wrestler, is not known for his social commentary and theological insight. But in this regard he did say something noteworthy and rather profound in early April of this year, in the midst of the almost total lockdown we were experiencing at the time as a nation. He posted his observation on Instagram:
“God has taken away everything we worship. God said, ‘You want to worship athletes, I will shut down the stadiums. You want to worship musicians, I will shut down civic centers. You want to worship actors, I will shut down theaters. You want to worship money, I will shut down the economy and collapse the stock market. You don’t want to go to church and worship me, I will make it where you can’t go to a church.’”
In wrestling terms, you might call Hulk Hogan’s observation a verbal “pile-driver” or “body-slam!” — and it certainly provides us with some solid material for personal reflection.
Hogan is not saying that God caused the Covid-19 pandemic. God doesn’t cause evil. But he certainly permits it. He permits it for the sake of a greater good; in this case in order to purify us and bring us to a deeper conversion.
This means that the coronavirus crisis — as bad and as disruptive as it’s been for all of us — has also been (and still is) an opportunity. It’s an opportunity for each of us to root out the idolatry in our heart, and to reprioritize our life, putting the Lord — and not money, or sex, or material possessions, or sports or anything else — at the center of it.