It was right around this time last week that news of Coronavirus started to dominate the national conversation. And then, last Thursday, life started to shift for all of us. Maybe it started to shift slowly at first but here we sit, nearly a week later, starting to realize just how much it really has shifted. We’re all feeling the impact of this virus, figuring out new rhythms, and wondering just how long this is all going to last.
For the first week, we talked a lot about not giving in to fear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.– 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB)
We still need that reminder today. But as I pay attention to my own heart and what’s happening in the lives of people I love, I realize fear isn’t the only thing we need to fight in this moment. Here are four Coronavirus traps I’m working to avoid.
Trap #1: Obsession
My screen time report for this past week is going to be ugly!
I’ve spent way more time on news websites, blogs, and social media than I have in a really long time. Part of that is the desire to stay informed and part of that is the desire to connect with family, friends, and our church. And a lot of it is a way of wasting time and trying to cope with all of the uncertainty.
I’ll be honest. The roles that God has given me in life don’t require an hourly update on the latest Coronavirus statistics. Some of you have roles that do; thank you for serving us all. But most of us don’t. Staying informed is good. Obsessing isn’t.
Trap #2: Indifference
This Coronavirus thing is real and the more we sacrifice now, the faster things should get back to normal. “Stop being silly, wash your hands, and get on with life” just isn’t a good look right now. And, frankly, it’s an unacceptable look for followers of Jesus. We should be taking the lead in sacrificing for the most vulnerable, going out of our way to promote the common good, and following our leaders on the federal, state, and local levels.
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB), emphasis added.
In this moment, love looks like social distancing.
Trap #3: Pride
For many of us, Coronavirus is impacting more than our schedules and travel plans. It’s impacting our physical, mental, and emotional health. And it’s impacting our jobs and our finances.
The simple reality is that a lot of us are going to need some help to make it through this. Not because we’ve been unwise or done anything wrong but because this is all so unprecedented.
So, if you need help, ask. Don’t let pride or shame stand in your way. You don’t need to do that to yourself or to your family.
At Restoration City, we’ll be sending out information on how to request assistance from our benevolence fund in our weekly email. But for now, just know you are not in this alone.
Asking for help when you need it isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of humility.Tweet
Trap #4: Despair
Laura and I went for a walk with the kids this morning and we were talking about the need to both take this threat seriously and to remain confident that we’re going to get through this. Right now, we don’t know how long that’s going to take. But we are going to come out on the other side.
It feels like our country is coming together. Leaders are working together to solve problems. And we have a lot going for us. Many of us have the ability to have groceries and almost anything else we want delivered right to our doors. That was unheard of ten years ago. Or think about the regularly scheduled doctors appointment that I have tomorrow. We’re going to do it virtually. In fact, we’re finding out there’s a lot we can do online, including our Prayer Nights.
So, don’t give in to despair. Remember the words of the last song we sang together as a church before this all started:
Don’t let your heart be troubled
Hold your head up high
Don’t fear no evil
Fix your eyes on this one truth
God is madly in love with you
Remember where our help comes from– “Good Grace”, Hillsong United
We’re going to get through this. Who knows, we might even come out stronger on the other end.