As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.Colossians 3:12, 15
Most of us probably needed to take a deep breath when we heard this past week that the ‘Safer at Home’ order in Wisconsin has been extended until the end of May. While the news was not unexpected, we still need to adjust our hearts and minds and rhythms of our lives to continue in a way of life that is uncertain, unsettled and hard to maintain.
It is normal to feel like life has been turned upside down, to feel worried, anxious and fearful. Right now, these emotions are our shared experience. One of the ways we manage these emotions is to stay connected in new ways and to focus on what we can control.
I want to suggest four ‘M’ words to guide us in these continued pandemic days of being distant from one another.
Mindfulness: If you have children in school or in Logos at church, they have probably done a fair amount of mindfulness exercises. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment, paying attention to what is happening around you and calmly acknowledging and accepting your thoughts and feelings. Sometimes just taking a slow deep breath in and out can help us become more mindful.
Meditation: Like mindfulness, meditation can help calm and focus us. Meditation might be listening to calming music; being intentional about times of prayer and devotional reading; or just being quiet and focusing on what we can control in our lives.
Movement: Getting outside and moving our bodies or being inside and intentionally doing some form of exercise can elevate our mood and make us feel more hopeful.
Meaningful engagement: Social distancing does not mean we need to be isolated from one another. We have many forms of staying connected with others, whether it is calling on the phone, writing a card or letter, or many forms of electronic connection. Meaningful engagement means we are actively practicing gratitude, doing acts of kindness and finding purpose, even in these days at home.
May we continue to choose hope in the midst of these days and may we choose to live in Easter faith, knowing that God is with us. May we share Easter faith when, where and how we can.