A friend shared a quote from CS Lewis in his essay, “Living in an Atomic Age,” (1948) that is still relevant today. Try substituting the word COVID 19 for bomb in Lewis’ closing paragraph, “This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies but they need not dominate our minds.”
Playing tennis, and chatting with our friends over a pint aren’t wise choices right now, but Lewis’ point remains. Many things can break our bodies (and truth be told, we are born with bodies that break down eventually, and unless the Lord returns, our mortal bodies will eventually give out), but we don’t need to let fear dominate our minds.
Philippians 4:8 provides wisdom about how to counter fearful thoughts. “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
When Acacia Parks, PhD, the associate editor at Journal of Positive Psychology was asked “If little things are good at making us happy, are big things – like a new car or a raise – better?” She replied, “When it comes to happiness, it’s everyday behaviors, such as hearing a song you like or finishing a good book that improve feelings of well-being.”
During this time apart from social gatherings, school, or work, devote one day to paying attention to what is true, honorable, just pure, pleasing, commendable. Notice the little things that shine such as clean sheets, the yellow explosion of forsythia in a neighbor’s yard, the smile of a child, the moment just before the sun goes down when the sky is aflame with color. At the end of that day, take a few moments to recall those moments, remember them in detail, and close with a simple prayer of thanksgiving.
Let us be found doing sensible and human things,
Here is a link for how to talk with children about the coronavirus you might find helpful: https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/