We are living through a most uncomfortable time. Everything about it seems wrong. The Global Virus Pandemic has now escalated to a strange combination of danger and survival, attempts to protect ourselves and our families plus a rather monotonous day-after-day on home lockdown with almost everything normal about our lives suddenly stripped away.
Most of us have not experienced in our entire lifetime such a convergence of all our fears at once combined with this no-end-in-sight time at home. Can being in survival mode really be happening right alongside a rather tedious feeling of being trapped and even bored?
You must watch the news or follow social media to learn what you need to know and yet hardly any of it seems hopeful or happy. Our fight and flight response gets triggered and yet, here we are, still sitting at home. Shouldn’t we be flighting or fighting instead? I find the combination of fear/adrenaline combined with being on house arrest to be downright excruciating. Do you feel that pain?
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I had a growing awareness that my body would be fighting a battle but the one in my mind and spirit was equally as strong. How does one stay sane and centered when all the fears and breaking news alerts bode so badly?
Many of us have been coping by escaping into Netflix. The Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness has provided a bizarre respite of weird plot and freaky characters to give us a few hours relief anyway. The show is controversial because of the treatment of animals but I’m in no position to boycott things right now.
I’ve latched onto the word Mayhem in the title. It means violent or damaging disorder and chaos. It seems a perfect word to describe this virus and the havoc it is causing in us personally, in our world and in our minds. It describes what parents are struggling with as they work from home and home school. It describes what it must feel like in emergency rooms or if your job causes you to have to face the potentially contagious community right now. It describes facing the future with no income suddenly or with a retirement fund that has just disappeared.
When mayhem is real how do we respond?
Maybe with miracles.
Pablo Picasso said, “Everything is a miracle. It is a miracle that one does not dissolve in one’s bath like a lump of sugar.” Good point, Picasso. May I should add melting in the bathtub to my new set of fears.
I’ve started balancing each worse case scenario that my mind can create with a best case scenario. I’ve been reasoning with myself that either scenario could happen in this situation we are in. Why not dream about what is miraculous?
I’m claiming miracles over mayhem just because I must. I’m looking for abundance while milk, bread, toilet paper, face masks and ventilators seem scarce. I see abundance it in all the new green leaves of spring. I remember my favorite Martin Luther quote, “God has written the truth of resurrection, not in books alone but on every leaf of springtime.” I look for signs of light in the darkness. I’m looking for life, health and goodness instead of despair and worry.
Today, the sun came up beautifully, a full out red, pink, orange and golden light miracle. I choose miracles over mayhem today because I must. What about you?
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor. Join her for worship this coming Sunday, April 5, 2020 at http://www.firstmethodistgrapevine.org where she will be the guest preacher for online worship at 10:30 a.m. You can also sign up today for Cindy’s Inner Circle monthly email at http://www.drcindyryanblog.com/circle. The April 1 email is her Top Ten List for How to Manage Anxiety in a Crisis. You can now listen to Dr. Ryan each week on the Jesus Calling Prayer Call each Tuesday at 7 a.m. CST. Call 425-585-6238, enter access code 155-636-905#. The recorded call will also be shared weekly on Facebook or at http://www.jesuscalling.com.