The farther one goes,
The less one knows.
-Tao Te Ching
Now many days into this global pandemic, it’s occurring to us that we are in this for the long haul. We don’t fully see where this is headed, but it feels scary and unsettling. Some of us have lost our jobs and have no income. Many of us are leading fragile companies, NGOs or churches who may go out of existence if this goes on as long as we fear. Our world is fundamentally changed.
In times of deep uncertainty, we do strange things. We buy ALL of the toilet paper. We eat pounds of sugar. We hoard masks and other essential medical supplies. We watch the news, which only increases our anxiety.
We’ve been thrown, suddenly, into a new world, and we don’t know what to make of this. I recently read a book called “Deep Survival” by Lawrence Gonzalez. He was exploring why some people make it through difficult, life-threatening experiences, and why some people are crushed by them. In the book, he talks about those who thrive using humor to get themselves through. It seems crazy to laugh in the face of a pandemic, but according to Gonzalez, finding the humor in our current circumstances may help more than anything.
Let’s try it. What do we have to lose? In the coming days…
- When you feel your anxiety rising and fear dominating your thoughts, watch your favorite sitcom. A favorite of mine is an oldie but goodie: “The Vicar of Dibley.”
- When you feel isolated and trapped in your home, check out this hysterical (and dumb) video of a poor Italian person trying to stay entertained while in quarantine.
- When you fear for your financial future, make up a story about the most outrageous life you could live if you bought an air stream, put the whole family in it, and hit the road. What adventures could you have?
We have a journey ahead of us. Though it all, remember that God is with us, closer than ever. I have a sense that God is already working to bring about a new and resurrected world. It might just be a more balanced and sustainable one too. I’ll leave you with the words from the prophet Isaiah:
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way…
– (Isaiah 43:18-19)
We are all in this together.
Prayer for the Week
May your healing power flow
into a world consumed by fear
We ask your presence with us and within us,
Now and forever.