In such a time of uncertainty, we all are staying close to home and hoping that our efforts help slow down the speed of the virus that has taken the whole world by storm. By doing so, we’re taking responsibility not just for our families but for our communities and the world at large. We hope and pray that our efforts bear fruit and we see a quick and speedy resolution to this unprecedented challenge.
There are lots of powerful spiritual lessons to glean from this experience. I would like to share a few for you to think about and discuss with your families.
1) IT’S TIME TO “GET IT’: The fast spread of this virus gives us a very powerful opportunity to remember that in truth, we are not in control. God runs the world, and where before we may have had the ILLUSION of control, now our masks have been lifted and we can realize that we are not in charge and that only God knows the outcome. There is something liberating about embracing uncertainty and relinquishing the illusion of control.
2) DIRECT YOUR ANXIETY TOWARDS PRAYER AND YOUR FEARS TOWARD HELPING OTHERS IN NEED: Yes, we have to take precautionary measures in every way possible and be totally responsible. But don’t let a “fight or flight” response lead you to think only about yourself and your family, and not others in need. Reach out to someone who might be alone and vulnerable. That’s responding with your soul instead of your panic button, which will ultimately help you feel less anxious and benefit everyone around you. Even if you can’t physically visit someone in need, a call makes a huge difference.
Resist the urge to channel your anxiety into endless news watching and direct it toward prayer. Don’t underestimate the power of heartfelt prayer and that the same God who directs all world events wants to hear from you more than you can ever understand.
3) IF THIS ISN’T A MESSAGE TO SLOW DOWN AND PRIORITIZE WHAT’S IMPORTANT, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS: Stores and restaurants are closed. Vacations cancelled. Events indefinitely postponed. Now is a time to learn to slow down the speed of life and “just be” with ourselves, our families and prioritize the things that matter most. Of course, nothing reminds us of this truth more than the Shabbat. Stop creating and recognize there’s a Creator. Be a human “being”, not a human “doing.” Consider embracing this Shabbat and the incredible potential it offers you. My husband recommends a 25 hour media fast, beginning tonight at 6:36 pm, the time of candle lighting, when we welcome in the holiness of Shabbat.
4) ONE SMALL ACT OF KINDNESS CAN TIP THE SCALES: If a tiny virus of 125 nanometers can send the entire world into chaos, who are we to say that one act of kindness can’t tip the scales toward a good verdict? Never underestimate the power we have to influence and change the world through our own actions. Remmember, a perfect God “intentionally” created an imperfect universe so WE can be partners with Him in the world’s completion. Take this responsibility seriously! Do your best to refrain from gossip or hurtful speech. Reach out to the vulnerable. Pray and honor the Shabbat.
And may we see a full and total resolution speedily in our days.