Not everyone is worried about their health and the well-being of their loved ones.
Not everyone is dealing with financial instability.
Not everyone is concerned about their small business and those they employ and serve.
You might not experience every complexity and disruption of this season, but I’d be willing to bet your life has been affected in some way. The COVID-19 crisis has quickly taken a toll on all of us. The details of your disruption might be different than the details of mine, but each of us are experiencing it in some way.
When the conditions around us seem to evoke more questions than answers, more anxiety than calmness, instability instead of sure footing – when these things happen we can easily turn our attention towards what is going wrong instead of what is going right.
I’m not suggesting we avoid watching the news or getting on social media. However the danger in this season is that we allow all of our time, energy and attention to go towards things that are broken which in turn creates fear, anxiety and concern with us. We can easily allow our minds and hearts to be seduced away from the right things.
The Apostle Paul knew this was a danger. Perhaps that is why, in a letter he wrote to one of his churches, he shared this encouragement:
“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
Under pressure or in the middle of disruption we can have our attention pulled away from the things which matters most. We can grow anxious and overwhelmed by the things happening around us.
What can we do to battle the anxiety and pressure that will rise in this season?
I’d suggest that we battle anxiety with gratitude. Expressing gratitude is a powerful way that we act on the good around us instead of dwelling on the bad. We don’t ignore the bad, but we give energy and our best attention towards what is good. It is a practical way for us to continue to be strengthened in our faith and overflow with thankfulness.
- Take time to write a note of gratitude.
- Call that person who needs to know you are grateful for them.
- Be intentional to say thank you to those postal workers, grocery store employees and other community helpers still working today.
These practical expressions of gratitude not only lift the spirits of people around us, they help us to focus on what is good instead of dwelling on things out of our control.