Like myself, most of us are probably control freaks to a degree. Unless you have grown up in extreme poverty, abuse, or a war-torn country, life for you has probably always been fairly predictable and certain. Until Corona came. Suddenly we don’t have the control we thought we did. We cannot plan and predict like we thought we could. Things are uncertain. Our forward motion has been halted.
We have lost our sense of control.
Will the virus get worse? Will it fizzle out? Will there be a vaccine? When will there be a vaccine? What are the side effects of the vaccine? Is there an agenda behind this? What will happen to the economy? What is going on with long-term travel? Will I see my family again? Will life ever be the same?
Most psychologists categorise COVID-19 as trauma. And the hallmark feeling of trauma is powerlessness, feeling like you have no control over your pain. And when people feel powerless, they often try and grasp for control.
My question for us today is: what if being in control is not actually good for us? What if control gets in the way of faith?
Dare I say it, what if going through tough stuff is actually good for us?
What if being uncomfortable is good for us?
What if, when we tell the story of our life in old age, and people asked what it was that made us who we are, we answered, “Living through 2020”?
There must be more to managing this time than just grasping for a sense of control.
It’s said that the WW2 generation was the most relaxed and happy generation in American history. (Happiness levels peaked in America in the decade after the war). Experts also claim that Millennials and Gen Z – who grew up with more security than any generation in American history – are the most anxious generation of all time.
Life involves trying and testing times. God never said life would be trouble free. In fact He said, ‘I can promise you there WILL BE tough times’. What He also said was, ‘do not fear for I am with you’ – not once, but 365 times!
If there are three points for myself for not just surviving, but thriving in this time, it would be:
1. Rest in God.
2. Open your heart to learn from this time.
3. Live grateful, one day at a time. – In the words of Jesus, ‘Don’t worry about tomorrow’ (Matthew 6:34).
Recommended reading: John Mark Comer: ‘Holy Uncertainty’.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.