When I was growing up, my mother used to tell me too much of a good thing was bad for me. Her kernel of “wisdom” confused me. How could a lot of something good be bad for me? Mom said this when she saw me eating too much candy or watching too much television. She wanted my body and mind to remain healthy. My childhood days have long since past and my mother is now in heaven. Yet, I can still hear a faint voice in my head when I allow myself to be too caught up in distracting activities.
In our present situation involving social distancing and self-isolation, distraction seems to be a gift we can use to save the day. We believe it will keep us away from worrying about “what if” scenarios. It is true getting caught up in our favorite distracting activity transports us far away from these troubled times. The problem arises, however, when we are distracted at the expense of everything else.
In the days ahead, don’t let distraction lure you away from focusing on the important things you need to be doing. Don’t let it keep you from maintaining a healthy mind and body. What important thing could you accomplish if you minimized distraction in your life?
Finding peace in the middle of a storm is not an easy proposition. When a trial rages beyond your control, you may be tempted to assume the worst and withdraw. Colossians 3:15-17 paraphrased tells those who believe in God to “let the peace of Christ rule in you hearts…be thankful…sing to God with gratitude in your hearts…give thanks to God.”
Maintaining an attitude of thanksgiving while one battles an unseen enemy seems counter-intuitive. However, being thankful to God means we haven’t given up hope. We can be vigilant while at the same time being kind and encouraging to others. This approach means we believe there’s a future beyond the present situation, even though the road ahead remains obscured. Fight fear with thanksgiving! What do you have to be thankful for?
We are indeed social creatures. It’s no surprise social distancing goes against our nature. We need not be alone however in this endeavor. While we are apart from social circles choose to spend time watching, listening or reading things that inspire–things that give the human spirit a chance to soar and not sour.
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
As we seek to limit our social interaction in an effort to fracture the spread of the coronavirus and preserve public health, perhaps some of our idle time could be put to good use. Why not seek to strengthen your interaction with the God of the universe. Spend some time with Him. Pray for those in need and for a calm spirit. Jesus said:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27