“If you can keep your head/when all about you/Are losing their/and blaming it on you”. So wrote Rudyard Kipling with words that apply today.
We have much to learn from COVID-19 politically and medically. But we have much to learn at a personal level as well. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- One of my greatest spiritual challenges involves fear. As I have been taught, I’m reminded daily to “let go and let God” yet my doubts and fears crowd in. It stirs up my long-standing struggle with the “why” question. Why do some recover and others not? Why does a loving God even permit such a thing as COVID-19 and, if it is not God’s doing, then is God completely out of the loop, as Annie Dillard wonders. And yet I still find comfort as Jesus walks across the water toward me and gently says “Don’t be afraid.”
- I like to believe that, thanks in part to recovery, I’ve made progress with my control issues. The daily sense of powerlessness we all face confronts me with the reality that I still have much work to do. In that spirit, I am reminded of guidance from Viktor Frankl. I may not have a choice over the reality of COVID-19 but I do have a choice as to how I face it.
- I am reminded again of how much I take for granted. Daily comforts and conveniences are suddenly not readily available. And, yes, that includes taking toilet paper for granted.
- I have known for some time the value of a spiritual discipline. Daily prayer to include a prayer of gratitude now seems more important than ever.
Some 30 years ago I caught a viral infection that triggered asthma and almost killed me. Am I afraid? In part because of what happened 30 years ago, you bet I’m afraid! And so, doubts and all, I turn to the words of a favorite hymn: “Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come follow me and I will give you rest.”
REFLECTION: What lessons, spiritual and otherwise, are you learning during the COVID-9 crisis?
Here is a version of the hymn mentioned above: