To say that life has changed in the last two weeks would be an understatement. A more close-to-reality statement would be that all of life hit a major pause button. It’s like when you watch a scene on TV with a speed setting that is fast-forwarding it all and then you suddenly have the scene frozen in place? That’s what I’m talking about. Except that the speed setting was the case of life in America. I can only speak with more certainty about the geographical place I’m located in. In this country, everything usually seems to move at rocket speed. The pace of life here is dizzying and for those of us who came here from other countries, we often have moments when we wonder: just where is everyone rushing to? Why the frenzied pace? What’s driving everyone? We can only think for one moment because in the next, we have to continue on the race because one can’t stop. It’s a system, a culture, a way of being. It has been this way for who knows how long. Thing is, it looked like this was how things always would be…until… BAM! A worldwide emergency brought the entire human world to cease. Its name? Coronavirus.
I don’t think the stores have been this calm since I ever relocated to this country. I don’t think I’ve been able to reach and actually chat with more people in a calm fashion than at this moment of life. Yes, there are many uncertainties that families, corporations and people are dealing with at this time. It has broken my heart to hear of how intimately it has impacted people I know. Humans, actual people are dealing with a lot right now. I pray for them near daily, if not several times in one day. It’s a lot.
That said, I thought I would write about some of the benefits of being alive at such a time as this.
1 – We have the opportunity now to rethink some of our past habits, addictions, choices and lifestyles. Things we’d taken for granted are now a luxury, a dream, something we hope to get back. But, should we really go back entirely to how it was? Do we need to be as addicted to the news cycles as we once were? Or to sports, entertainment, social media, our phones?? What can we change?
2 – We have the opportunity to see (more) value in the humans closest to us. Prior to this time, men had taken their wives for granted, after all, what do stay-at-home mums do all day? Women had taken their husbands for granted and now have a chance to see up close the stresses they go through in trying to provide. Fathers had overlooked what it took to care for their own children. Parents had taken for granted what it took to teach children and heck, entertain them all day every day. They now are way more thankful to their kids’ teachers. Every worker, no matter how they feel about their workplaces, may have come to take for granted that they did have a place to go to and receive money from – as compared to the many unemployed and homeless. All of us may have taken for granted that our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals would be available for us whenever we so needed it. I write this having received an email from our pediatric dentist stating that all non-emergency procedures are now on hold till at least a month from now. All routine appointments that we used to be annoyed about for their ability to fill up our calendars are now a luxury. All told, we have way more gratitude for all that used to work for us.
3 – We have the opportunity to think. Think. That is all. Think.
Ok, think about it. When one is constantly only trying to not be late to the next appointment, whether it be a doctor’s, school teacher’s, or even a playdate, the chances to be alone with oneself are ridiculously few. But hey, this was our life, so we continued at that pace. This time however, we finally can come face-to-face with ourselves. It’s a very good thing because in solitude (or what a friend referred to as “the loneliness of the soul”) we can finally confront some things that need to be. We can see our present state for what it is. And, we then have a real opportunity to grow from that place.
4 – We have the opportunity to call for help.
As a people, we have come to believe that we are in control of much of (our) life. That it’s what we want that goes, etc. As a result, we have come to believe that we don’t need much help from others, that there must absolutely be a way for us to come up with a solution ourselves. Tragedy, disasters, and crises occur to us and allow us to recognize our total humanity. We come to a place where we find that…we can.not. Not. For every person, mercy looks just like this: hitting rock bottom in some way and crying out for help. I see it as mercy because we’d been blinded to truth. We were not designed to go it alone! Not one bit. We need each other, we need our Maker. We…need. Period. So why not simply acknowledge it and then act like it?
All that to say, this is one such crisis that has the opportunity to force our collective eyes upward. Like, if God doesn’t help us, help scientists figure out a cure, help our medical workers not break down in exhaustion, help our societies not reach and surpass that tipping point of lack of adequate supplies, lack of food supply, hyperinflation (i.e. a combination of factors that would effectively lead to its collapse), we are in trouble. And so we cry out. And so we have a president call for a National Day of Prayer. And so we find churches and other religious groups gather (virtually) asking their followers to call out to God. This is a good place to be. Why? Because when we cry out, He ALWAYS hears and responds. He. is. good.
In sum, my friends, in the midst of some really terrible happenings, believe me when I say: good is coming out of it all.
Stay strong in faith. Embrace the RESET that is taking place. I’ll see you on the other side.