Prepare to meet your maker
This Covid-19 crisis moment will go down in history books. Life on this earth is changing before our eyes. An invisible virus brought our world to a standstill. We hide from the virus as it hides from us. In Chinese, the word for crisis consists of 2 characters. The first character means danger, the second character means opportunity. This time will pass as everything in life does, but life will be different. How this world changes depends upon our actions today.
Everyone’s life has been disrupted. Restaurants, libraries, schools, universities, movie theatres, concert venues, bars, stores, gyms, sports venues, dentist offices, hair styling places are all closed. Many are bored with this enforced isolation, many more are scared and suffering. People are afraid of contracting the virus itself and also afraid of what this shelter in place has done for the economy and for so many who rely on weekly paychecks for day to day living.
It isn’t just Americans who are suffering. In fact as we complain about sheltering in place in our warm homes or apartments, there are 70 million vulnerable refugees worldwide who would love to have a shelter to hide in. While we worry over a shortage of ventilators and masks, there are millions in poor countries who don’t even have access to an ICU, hospital, or even fresh water to wash their hands.
Covid-19 knows no nationality and no boundaries. This virus affects us all regardless of income, race, gender, religion, political leanings, or nationality. The truth is, we are all in this together. We are all connected and our actions impact each other. This virus is teaching us that again.
The other truth that the coronavirus reminds us of is that human life is short, precious, fragile, and uncertain. Our lives can change in an instant. We die and those we love die. This has always been true. It is the existential reality that we live in always, but we like to deny it with our strength, accomplishments and busyness. Usually a crisis or death in our individual lives brings us face to face with this truth momentarily. What makes this moment in history unique is that we are all awakening to this reality simultaneously
The world is currently experiencing a ‘time out’. A time out for what? First and foremost the purpose is to slow the virus’s transmission and to protect one another. A Facebook post read, “This is the only time in history that you can save the world by sitting on your couch and watching TV. Don’t blow it guys”. Perhaps though, this moment in time requires more of us than watching TV, getting caught up on movies and social media, cleaning our closets and basements, or starting new blogs…
This collective sheltering in place and isolation of millions provides an unparalleled opportunity to press the world’s reset button. Things weren’t going well for many in the world before the crisis. We can stop and look around and really see. It is a time for us to deepen our connection with each other and the God who created us. It is a time to be still and know God’s love and presence. Modern life brings with it so many demands and distractions that keep us from the stillness required to listen to God and to our own hearts. This seclusion time is an amazing opportunity to rest on God’s lap, and pray and listen.
Prayer is a powerful invisible weapon to fight an invisible virus. Learning to rest in God through prayer can hold our own personal worlds steady, and in some mysterious way (because we are all connected), help hold the rest of the world a bit steadier. Many of us already have a regular prayer or meditation practice. For us, the call in this moment is to go deeper. For others, this is the perfect time to meet your maker. We learn how to pray by praying. There is no one way to pray. God wants a unique relationship with each of us.
Many times prayer can be dry and boring, however time spent in prayer is never wasted. Don’t judge your efforts. They are perfect. Persist in the practice of praying. Time spent in silence opens the door of your heart to see how much God loves you. Prayer helps us see this time in history in God’s light.
When the world opens back up in a few months, it is going to need an army of people who know God’s love and can show compassion to everyone. People who know God’s presence can calm another’s fears. Time spent praying doesn’t just benefit you personally, it benefits all of us. It opens the door for God’s grace to be poured on this sick and hurting world.
For those starting on their prayer journeys, there are many resources out there, but a nice short daily meditation app is Lectio 365. It is a free download and a very good place to start.
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