Aren’t you glad that it’s not your kid who famously said last week on the beach at Spring Break that “at the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying?!?” (To his parents: he will learn from this moment.)
While there is a world of difference between that guy and a responsible family who has obeyed the social distancing mandate for the last week, there can be a fine line between obsessing and being careful.
I have had to learn how not to worry about things I cannot control. Life has been full of hard lessons, but like the good Lord says, “you cannot add a moment to your life by worrying.” And then there’s the old “do not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries of its own.” One of the biggest revelations that I have ever had was when the first pastor I ever followed said “everything will be ok no matter what.” I had never considered that I could be at peace no matter what happened. That statement changed me.
During the onslaught of the “red devil” chemotherapy, I remember giving a speech and telling a large crowd that I knew that everything would be ok no matter what. It was a big statement because the “no matter what” was so massive at that moment. Everyone there had to know what that meant. If they didn’t, it was because they didn’t want to. I don’t blame them. It can be too much to consider your own mortality. Truthfully, if I found out that I would die, I wouldn’t want to spend one moment of whatever I had left being miserable. I would want to laugh and love and experience every moment as positively as I possibly could before it was too late. And if, in the grip of chemo and the possibility of death, I could think that clearly, then there really should not be anything in this COVID-19 crisis that should stop me from being a force for good in this world.
The question is, what is it to “be a force for good during this crisis?”
I think the answer is in finding the best possible way to look at your circumstance and to be support, love and joy for others. Control what you can and then surrender the rest. Obey the guidelines. Keep you and your loved ones out of harm’s way. Exercise all of the diligence you can to prevent the spread of this disease. Pray for it to resolve quickly.
If COVID-19 has not attacked you or a family member directly, enjoy the extra time at home. Love your family out loud. Take a moment out of this crazy life for peace. Play a game with your kids. Watch a movie. Go for a bike ride. Stick to a schedule and stay current with your work if possible. Pray that this experience changes the way you look at things for the better. See what you can learn from such an abrupt change in circumstance. Find a way to grow from it.
And if the disease touches close to home, pray for peace and healing. Do everything you can to proactively take care of yourself or your loved one. Follow the guidelines. Practice every safety measure. But don’t waste a minute on anxiety that produces no fruit. There will be moments that are scary and maybe even painful. Feel those feelings but pray for the ability to get past them when you can. When at all possible, don’t waste a single of your precious moments because life is too short.