My fellow human beings, there is no doubt that we are in the midst of hard times. The recent tornado that tore through parts of Nashville, the political divide that continues to separate our country, and now, the ramifications of Covid-19 on our day-to-day lives are all concrete examples of these hard times.
Today, it is so easy to get caught up in discouragement. Anxiety. Frustration.
Caught up in and swept away by.
I want to encourage you (and myself) to choose a different way. Choose, even for just a few moments a day, to see these times as an invitation. To grow. To strengthen. To hope. To believe. To care. To dream.
The days of isolation can feel long. Minute after minute can be filled with worry and fretting and angst.
They can also be filled with other things. Room to breathe. Time to think. Moments to meditate and pray. Occasions to create. Openings to connect.
I’m not trying to minimize the fear that comes with this virus or with the multitude of other difficulties we might be facing right now. I’m not trying to dismiss the financial worries many of us are dealing with due to our places of business being closed down. I’m not trying to be flippant in the face of statistics and concern for our loved ones and ourselves.
I am trying to encourage us that there is a way to simultaneously entertain both the beautiful and the hard. The blessing and the curse. The down but not out.
We have an opportunity right now to embrace the bright side – not in ignorance, but in hope. Not by pretending we are not afraid, but in recognizing that our fears often point us to what really matters to us in this life. Maybe these dark days are a chance to realign our goals, our dreams, how we spend our time with what we truly hold dear. To be less distracted by all the trappings of our modern age and more connected to what is really vital to living well: relationship with ourselves, others and God.
Instead of only feeling confined, constricted, and controlled, what if we also choose to see today’s hours as offering us space to do the things our typical days leave no margin for. Journal. Cook. Spring clean. Practice yoga. Read a book…or ten. Soak in the tub. Make a “quarantine playlist” and hold a dance party with family (with those already under your roof or virtually from miles away). Work on perfecting your knit and purl. Plan your garden. Do a little binge-watching – and then for goodness’ sake, stop. Stay informed – and then for goodness’ sake, step away for a time.
In these days of social distancing, isolation, and fear, we are not alone. And we need reminders of that more than ever. Look inward. Reach out. Appreciate space. Choose hope. And finally, my friends, believe that this too shall pass.