These are unprecedented times we face. Quarter 1 of 2020 proved to be difficult, for everyone in the world. Here are my three cents worth of perspective not only for this COVID19 situation, but for all difficult circumstances we may face.
Three things we can do to help calm ourselves and walk this COVID19 alongside others.
1. Choose your attitude.
Notice that I didn’t say change your attitude because change can take awhile but choosing your attitude can be done instantly, should you – pardon the pun – choose it.
There are really three basic choices we can do:
Choose not to be anxious
When anxiety attacks, we are high on the feeling part (right) of our brain. To help ease ourselves and those around us, let’s bring the logical part (light) of our brain. How do we do this?
Count with your fingers. Do a SUDUKO or crossword puzzle. Name all the colors in the rainbow. Do math. Read the nutritional information in the bottles. Read from the dictionary.
Max Lucado says, “The presence of anxiety is unavoidable, but the prison of anxiety is optional.”
Choose to sift facts from the exaggeration, objective news vs. sensational reporting, or limit your social media and news intake altogether
When you overdose or over-consume on news and social media, it only adds to the anxiety. Uninstall the apps if you need to. Re-channel your energy and do something better.
Read a book. Play with your children. Journal your thoughts. Go outside and start gardening. Declutter your house. Re-arrange the furniture. Write a poem. Compose a song. Cook a new dish. Bake a brownie.
Do something other than news. Check in only once or twice a day to keep yourself updated, but don’t consume it.
Choose to be grateful and think not only of yourself.
Utter a prayer of gratitude for you and your family and pray for the frontliners and those who are struggling.
Better yet, go the extra mile. Think how you can help others especially the poor and the vulnerable. But be wary, some can politicize this crisis, so choose local and legit organizations. Support homebased businesses. Buy from your local store.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17, ESV
2. Understand the facts and listen to the right voice
The right voice is not the social media, so many exaggerated and fake news in there. Also, when you watch and listen to the news, sift the facts from the sensational. I already alluded to this in number one.
These days, many people like to think that they are in-charge when actually they are not. Spot the fake leader from the true leader. Identify who calls the shots in your company, in your business, in your family. And if you are a leader, make it clear to those who follow you. Let your voice be heard.
Truth is, we humans like to think we are in-charge but COVID19 showed us that we are not in control. We were never in control. God was. He is. He always will be. In control.
3. Pray, pause and consider your ways
There’s not much I can say along this line except to quote Haggai 1:5-7 from the NIV: “Now, this is what the Lord Almighty says: “give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.”
As you pause and consider your ways, try answering these questions:
Why do you labor and toil?
Are you responding to this crisis or simply reacting?
Are you uniting and dividing?
Are you helping or just hustling?
Know thou this that we can hustle hard but in the end only God can give the harvest.
Dear friends, may we –
- Choose the right attitude
- Understand facts and listen to the right voice, and
- Pray, pause and consider our ways.
May our C.U.P.s overflow with goodness, not selfishness.
May we give more understanding, love and mercy these days. We may not be able to help in such a big scale, but by being more understanding to the person seated next to us whether at home or at work is already a great help.
Yes, the situation is unsure. The economy is unsure. Everything is unsure. But if you believe in God, then you have a steady Rock. One who is immovable. One who is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Your three small steps in the right direction:
1. Read Matthew 6:25-34 from your physical Bible. Read it. Underline it. Color it. Read it again. Then, read it again. Read and re-read as often as you can.
If you don’t have a physical Bible, download the Bible app/YouVersion, Bible Olive Tree app, ESV Bible app, CSB Bible app, or Bible Gateway app and read from it.
2. Uninstall social media app if you can’t control yourself from opening it too frequently. Do it. You will not miss out. Believe me.
3. Pray. If you can’t find the words to pray, use this – “Lord, I give everything and everyone to you. Lord, I give everything and everyone to you. Lord, I give everything and everyone to you.” This prayer will help you trust God more.