My grandson, Elias, has recently added walking to his preferred mode of exploration although his default is crawling. He charges ahead with excitement and curiosity on wonderful expeditions under the kitchen table, behind the couch and – horrifying for his parents – splashing in the toilet. He attacks his mission with joy, consumed in the little world inside his home.
Do you envy his innocence? I do. He is protected from the panic that COVID-19 has caused. Watching the frantic negative news reports, I worry that he and his brother will never see a world portrayed other than as a disturbing episode of Black Mirror. A world of darkness, hate, finger pointing, suspicion.
Oscar Wilde wrote, “We live in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities.”
Well-meaning experts offer advice; ways to keep you and your children entertained, occupied, exercised. There’s plenty of How To’s to be sure you’re well stocked on your fav alcohol, legal marijuana (depending on which state you live), and other self-medicating options to get you through these scary times. These unnecessary things have their place, I suppose, but all have one thing in common – they leave out one essential practice.
I’m gonna say it – PRAY.
Sadly, expert advice from spiritual leaders from every denomination is tamped down by the corporate media, touted as offensive by the vocal minority. Because they’re louder doesn’t make them right.
Yes, I’m concerned for my family, there are several of us who fall into the high-risk group – including myself. My husband and son are essential workers. We’re being cautious. We’re following shelter-in-place guidelines. We’re not pointing fingers but instead pointing our hearts to God. Praying.
It’s easy to complain, to be an armchair quarterback, to criticize from the cheap seats. How about rather than focusing on decisions made or not made by the powers that be, consider praying for those people, praying for smarter people to prevail, pray to God to lead your heart. Pray that evil is defeated. We have the luxury of being critics because we don’t have the responsibility of deciding.
Focus on your sphere of influence. Your family. Your friends. Your neighbors. Satan is rejoicing at the turmoil he is seeing among people of the world. Instead of joining him, turn your hearts to God – it doesn’t matter your denomination – ask God what you can do. Listen. Turn off the talking heads and just listen. God is there waiting to break through the noise of the squawking world.
Stop the hoarding. Stop the blame. Because whether God answers your prayers in the specific way you ask – know he is with you. Know that He has a plan. A plan infinitely beautiful.
Pray while the world stomps on each other’s back reaching for that last roll of toilet paper. Prayer and the peace of Christ will calm your fears infinitely better than the best weed, alcohol, or prescription.