For several days now, my home state has had in effect a Shelter in Place order. Not since the cold war’s “Duck and Cover” have we even heard such words. Nor have we had to think about such tragic circumstances invading our communities.
But it’s here. Now.
Many of us have had our lives completely turned upside down. We can’t go to work, and we have to work from home. Our work has changed somehow, evolved. There’s no specific place, no office with a door, so it seems like we’re always working or we’re never working. Some of us don’t have jobs. Or we have a suspicion that our job won’t last forever. And, the kids. Schools are out, kids are home. Even the big ones. Colleges are shut down, dorms closed, and grown children are once again sharing space with their parents. Speaking of parents, we’re all worried about ours. Will they get sick? Will they make it through this? What are they thinking right now?
What are any of us thinking?
The world is a crazy place to be right now. Never would I ever have thought we’d have to argue about our older children wanting to hang out and go for a drive. Just go. Wait. No. You can’t. Sorry. I know it’s lame, but people are counting on you to do this.
My world is at a standstill and spinning at the same time. How does that even happen?
When my world is so out of my control, I feel like giving up. I feel like shouting to the whole world that I don’t really have a choice. I don’t.
But that’s not true, is it? I always have a choice. Always.
I’ve noticed that I’ve been saying things like, “did you watch the governor’s report today” (ours addresses the state every afternoon) or “have you heard from your friends in Italy?”
I’ve noticed that I don’t mind turning on the news again, even though I gave up that habit nearly two years ago. I keep watching and waiting and watching. Even if it makes me anxious.
What I know is that I have a choice. I can have fear or faith. I can choose to be anxious about everything or delighted in the little things. I can follow the rules, fight the fight, keep the faith.
You have a choice, too. You can let your family get on your nerves, or you can relish this unique time to spend together. You can snip at your co-workers, or take a deep breath and remember that we are all struggling.
When we are faced with hard choices, we rarely walk away proud that we did the easy thing. Usually, when we do the hard thing, in the end we are grateful for the outcome. Thankful for the lessons learned. Blessed by the opportunities.
Today, I pray that you look fear in the eye and don’t let it consume you. Don’t give it a chance to take you down or discourage you. Instead, make a choice. Do good. Be kind. Bless others. Love well. Have hope.