It was Monday, March 16th, that the President’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus, went into place. It was the day after my wife and I went to Sunday Mass for the last time at our Parish (we now watch online). Since then Churches have closed across the country, as has almost everything else. With the exception of those serving in the essential services sector, we’re all at home. Many are able to work remotely, while some (into the millions) have lost their jobs due to the crisis.
We’re still not out of this thing. With what started outside of our country, the ripple effect is incredible. It would seem probable that there are parts of our country, our world, our way of life, that are going to change forever…something that wasn’t close to being on our radar earlier in the year, when things were humming along.
In watching the news, seeing what’s being posted, and talking to folks, there’s a lot of fear and anxiety out there. I can genuinely say that I’ve experienced neither, which I would attribute to my faith. What I’m absolutely amazed by is how everything flipped on a dime. The world has literally been turned upside down by Coronavirus overnight. It’s surreal. It’s nuts. It’s really unbelievable.
So, the question becomes what we can do for ourselves and others during these times. I’ve identified three things:
- Stay in a place of Gratitude
- Do what you can…don’t worry about the rest
- Help others
Stay in a Place of Gratitude
It was a year ago that I posted a blog titled, “Do You Need An Attitude Adjustment Too?”, which you can find here. Not wanting to be redundant, I want to stress the importance of gratitude in these times. BTW, a quick internet search will indicate how important gratitude is to us. Without question, we are currently facing challenging times. And at the same time, so many of us are so blessed. For me, I am so thankful for so much…
- Starting with Jesus Christ as my Savior
- Very close second is my wife and the relationship we have, followed by our children and their families, all incredible blessings to us
- For my journey (everything that has occurred in my life, including the tragedy) and what God now has me doing in my life
- For my upbringing, my loving parents, my brothers, and our broader family and friends
- For everything that occurs in my daily life, the good (for obvious reasons) and the bad (for the lessons they teach me).
I don’t mean to drone on, but want to provide you with examples. We all have so much to be thankful for in our lives. We need to take account of these things daily, thanking God in prayer.
Do What You Can…Don’t Worry About the Rest
I’m reminded of the Serenity Prayer, which I say daily:
God grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time.
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would like it.
Trusting that He will make all things right,
If I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this world
And supremely joyful in the next.
We have very little control over much of our lives, i.e. Coronavirus. I believe strongly that the above prayer, including the first four lines, are indicative of the healthy way to live life. Do what you can and don’t worry about the rest.
This one is obvious and we’re seeing examples of it everywhere. I, like you, could fill 13 pages with examples. Here’s a different slant though. Those who do mission work or ministry most often feel more served by those they’re serving than the other way around. In other words, it’s in those in need that we truly see the face of Christ, where we feel the love of Christ.
While serving others is not to be about us, we do benefit from it, which is a nice thing in these challenging times. Reading Scripture this morning, I came across Luke 8:39, where Jesus says to a man he just healed, “return home and recount what great things God has done for you”. Two things…first, be grateful. Second, another way to help others is to share the Gospel message, including your testimony.
Praying for all of us as we make our way out of this crisis. As always, should you have questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me at Mark@MarkJosephMinistries.com.
God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!