6 Lessons COVID-19 Has Taught Me

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If you’re like me, you’ve been going back and forth between laughing at COVID-19 memes and worrying if all the hype is warranted. You’ve also probably been going back and forth between being annoyed at the inconveniences and being fearful of potential future problems. Still…I wonder…if hidden underneath all of those feelings, is something else a little different. Something wiser. Something strong and zealous that’s trying to rise to the surface and teach us something if we’ll let it. A voice that says, Listen. Look around you. Observe. View things differently. Don’t miss this opportunity. The world needs a perspective shift. This could be it.

I’m trying to let that voice speak to me because I don’t want to miss an opportunity to gain wisdom and maybe turn things around in my own world that have become stale or distorted.

Here’s what I’ve gleaned so far…

 

#1 ON BEING STUCK AT HOME – As much as I love my new home…seriously, if I had to be stuck anywhere, it would be here…the idea of not going out much and the potential of having my kids here and not going back to teaching for a very long time is a bit daunting. It has me scratching my head, wondering what world I’m living in. What am I going to do? How am I going to make the most of this time at home and also be productive? How am I going to make sure my kindergartener knows how to read by the end of the school year if we end up staying home? How am I going to keep them occupied and not bored without going out? How am I going to teach from home if that’s what it comes to? So many questions. Very few answers.

LESSON #1 – For now. Just for now. Maybe the voice is telling us we need to focus on our family. Maybe for now we shouldn’t worry about those pressing questions and just use this time to relax. Since I’m a teacher and know for sure that I’ll be off through April 5th, I must say my To-Do List for spring break this week doesn’t seem so pressing anymore. Those moments with my kids that so often pass me by because I’m in “get stuff done” mode have successfully made me pause, and I’ve been able to savor them. With fewer responsibilities and time constraints, I’ve been able to focus more on my girls and my family. What if that’s what life is supposed to be like? What if we’ve cluttered life so much with stuff that we’ve forgotten family is meant to be the priority, not the afterthought?

 

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#2 ON NOT BEING ABLE TO SOCIALIZE – For introverts, this is not an issue, lol. For myself, a die-hard extrovert, it’s honestly difficult thinking about not hanging out with people and going places I enjoy. I mean, it is spring break after all, and what about weekends? Just this week, I had planned to have coffee with some author friends I met recently, but I’m having to cancel. For some people, including me, we find joy and meaning in life through our interaction with other people.

LESSON #2 – What if every now and then we need to focus on ourselves and look inward? Many of us avoid looking inward because we either don’t like what we see and/or don’t want to deal with what we find. Sometimes we need to, though, and if we don’t ever do it, maybe some social isolation is in order to force us to ponder and reflect. If we don’t ever slow down to think about our own lives and, therefore, make necessary changes, then we’re just like the people in Fahrenheit 451 who always distract themselves with mindless entertainment so they don’t have to think since thinking makes them unhappy. Dear God, may we never come to that.

 

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#3 ON SEEING ALL THE EMPTY STORE SHELVES – Y’all, this has been crazy. When you think about it, though, it kind of makes sense. If we’re asked to stay home as much as possible, then it makes sense that we’d want to stock up on stuff to not need it again too soon. But then it makes it difficult when we run out of certain things and can’t find them anywhere.

LESSON #3 – Although we’ve been pretty lucky so far, finding most things we’ve needed, I’m already thinking about what I do have in my fridge and pantry and how I should plan effectively to make sure we use all of it and that none of it goes to waste. When we can’t find things we normally use and need, it makes us realize how much we take things for granted. We’re used to having everything we need and want. It’s just a short drive or a few-day shipment away.  What would it be like if we were less reliant on our material things? What would it be like if we were actually mindful of and grateful for the things we do have? 

 

#4 ON LOSING WAGES – I’m not in this boat yet myself, but my husband may be. I may be at some point, too. I don’t know. Even so, we’re in an okay financial position that we can handle it at least for a little while. However, I am very aware that this could be crippling for some families. We’ve been paycheck to paycheck before with no wiggle room, so I can imagine the strain and worry some are feeling right now.

LESSON #4 – I have two thoughts on this that may seem a bit opposing, but they’re both valid. One is that maybe we need to add more margin in our finances when possible. I know for some this is a distant dream and not possible at this stage of life. But for many, we choose to live with no margin in our finances. We could choose a lower standard of living so that we can put money in the bank and have extra every month, but we push ourselves to the limit. I’m speaking to myself just as much as everyone else, btw. It’s a hard lesson to learn and not one we can do much about right now. But maybe…just maybe, when this is all over, we can remember the difficult situation we were put in by both circumstances out of our control AND our own lifestyle choices. And maybe that will make us think twice about the way we live in the future.

The second lesson is simply this: We need to put our hope and trust in God, not in our financial situation. Our finances can change in an instant. God never does.

 

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#5 ON WORRYING ABOUT THE ECONOMY – This legitimately has me concerned. I’m no economic expert by any means, but it doesn’t take a genius to know this is already and is going to hurt so many individuals, as well as our economy as a whole. I hurt for small business owners as they suffer through this. I know we can do some things to help. I just hope it’s enough. I also worry about what this might mean for our country’s economic system now and in the future.

LESSON #5 – As much as I worry about this, this is what I’m learning… People may run businesses. People may run the government. But God runs the world. If God can create the entire world in a handful of days, He can handle rebuilding the economy and taking care of hurting people. He is the keeper of promises and the maker of new beginnings and opportunities. He will guide us through this. We just have to trust Him and move forward with wisdom.

 

#6 ON NOT BEING SURE WHO TO BELIEVE – If you’re like me at all, you want to get this right. You don’t want to appear foolish by buying into all the madness, but you also don’t want to later regret not taking it seriously enough. I don’t necessarily want to weight in except to say that I’m guessing the right response is somewhere in the middle. And the more you read up on valid information, the more you’ll understand where people are coming from with all of this.

LESSON #6 –  The lesson I’ve learned here is that sometimes, not knowing what to believe is okay. Yes, you heard me. For those like me that are black and white thinkers and have to know everything, that sounds sacrilegious, but I’m serious. This is where trust comes in. Whether or not all this social distancing and quarantining is needed, it’s happening. So we can either get angry and complain about it or accept it and try to trust the people in charge. Maybe they actually do know what they’re talking about. What I do know is that being angry and complaining drains my life, while acceptance brings peace. I’m going to choose what brings peace.

 

Simply put… Throughout this difficult time… Rest. Recharge. Reconnect. Reflect. Satan may be trying to bring us down, but God will revive us and make us even better than we were before…if only we’ll let Him.

~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on March 18, 2020.

2 Responses to “6 Lessons COVID-19 Has Taught Me”

  1. Profound thought, Dusty!

  2. Awesome observations!

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