Over the last couple of days, many of our lives have been turned upside down. It almost doesn’t seem real. The stock market is tanking, the NBA has suspended its season, colleges are switching to virtual learning environments and to top it all off, there is a toilet paper shortage the likes of which we have never seen. This is not the same world we lived in only a couple of weeks ago. We are in a genuine crisis.
I’m in the middle of grappling with anxiety, worry and fear. What does the future hold? How bad will this get? The answers we desperately crave are illusive. Still I’m comforted by an old adage my mom used to quote to me when I was young, “This too shall pass.”
Eventually, we will look at this time as “history”. With that in mind, one question has been reverberating with me during these last two or three days. Here it is, “10 years from now, what would I look back on and regret about my response to this crisis?”
This is a helpful question for me because it gives needed perspective as well as a framework for how I want to live during this season.
So, what would I regret 10 years from now? Here are a few of my answers…
Not telling the people closest to me, “I love you”
If I am so consumed by worry that I can’t be present and show affection to the people I am blessed to have in my life, it would be a failure. I want to look back at this season and know that I expressed my love sincerely.
Not taking care of my family
Of course, this assumes that I am providing for them physically but I mean much more than that. Am I giving my kids a place to talk about their anxiety and fear or am I trying to get them to ignore it so that I can feel more comfortable? Am I able to care for my family by pointing them to a Father who loves them even more than I do?
Not looking for ways to bless people who are less fortunate than me
American culture says, “Make sure you are comfortable”. Following Jesus gives me the freedom to break beyond my own comfort and be a blessing to those around me. As I have heard more than once in my life, “We are blessed to be a blessing”.
Not seeking God and praying more
Yes, I know this could sound “uber-spiritual” but that’s not my intent. I find it curious that this crisis is hitting in the middle of Lent. It’s a season where millions of Christians around the world (including myself) are giving up significant things in their life for a season in order to reflect on God and depend on Him more deeply.
I’ve found that it’s a lot tougher to be consumed by worry when I am focused on God and asking Him to guide me. I hope that 10 years from now, I will be able to look back on this season and say I was closer to God and the people around me because I was intentional about listening to His voice over everything else.
Oh yeah! I’d also regret it if I didn’t wash my hands
“Trusting God” doesn’t mean I absolve myself of all responsibility to be a decent human being. Ensuring that I do what I can to not get sick and pass a disease along to other people seems like something I never regret.
So how about you? Does this question help you? What would you regret 10 years from now? I’d love to hear your thoughts!