|Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on February 10, 2021 at 6:45 PM|
It has essentially been a year since we first started hearing about COVID-19. What a year it has been! None of us knew at that time what the year ahead had in store for us. It has been a time of tremendous loss for so many: loss of loved ones; loss of freedom; loss of planned and expected experiences; loss of jobs; loss of income and financial security; loss of face-to-face interactions with friends and family; loss of cherished routines; and the list goes on. In a time such as this, when the losses are piling up and hope seems to be in short supply, we can’t be blamed for losing something else – perspective.
Perspective can be a nebulous thing. When the world is upended, as it has been during this time of pandemic, there is a natural human tendency to become narrowly focused on the negative. Our capacity to see the “bigger picture” is diminished. While it is absolutely important to acknowledge and grieve the losses, it is also important, in the midst of the grief, to find ways to stay connected to the larger story of God’s loving reign in our lives. I would like to offer just a few suggestions of ways we might do that:
• Pray This is the obvious one, but not necessarily the easy one! Taking time on a regular basis to pray is, I believe, the most effective tool at our disposal for maintaining perspective in the midst of incalculable loss. Prayer can take many and various forms, but it truly is the lifeblood of faith.
• Count your blessings One of my spiritual disciplines is to spend some time each day intentionally thinking about the good things in my life. I find this especially important in a time such as this. Even in a time of pandemic, there are things in each of our lives for which we can be grateful, some of which are actually the unexpected fruits of being in a pandemic.
• Be informed, but not obsessed Speaking for myself, it can be very tempting to not only consume the news, but to be consumed by it. I find that I am better able to maintain a healthy perspective when I limit my news intake, trying to stay informed without becoming obsessed.
• Consider a social media fast If you are a regular user of social media, consider setting aside an occasional time (e.g. one day a week) to step away from it. Social media has been an important tool for maintaining connection for many of us during this time of pandemic, but it also has the capacity to rob us of perspective.
• Get outside in nature Go for a walk or bike ride. Getting out and immersing yourself in God’s creation is one of the tried-and-true ways of staying connected to the “bigger picture”.
I hope these suggestions prove helpful as you seek to maintain perspective in this time of challenge and loss. May God’s peace be with us all!