I remember when I was a kid and would be playing video games on my Super Nintendo. Mario was my favorite. I would play for hours conquering level after level sometimes even staying up all night just to get to the final battle with the Evil Bowser and beat the game!
Sometimes though, on rare occasions, the game would freeze and there was nothing I could do about it. This was well before the days of memory cards or online gaming, so that meant that I was going to lose my place in the game and literally have to start all over.
There were two ways to fix this. First, you eject the game and blow into it real fast waving it back and forth like a harmonica. This got all the dust off of the game itself and allowed for a better connection with the console. Second, you hit the big, purple reset button. This reset the console and restarted the whole game.
Right now, as I'm writing this, we are in the midst of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic. I'm currently under a stay-at-home order at my parent's house in rural Alabama in self-quarantine. This is the most time I've ever spent in one place at one time. I'm sure it's been like that for a lot of you, too.
This morning I was talking on the phone with a friend and we couldn't get past the idea that the world feels like it's frozen right now. Like anything and everything that was happening either isn't now or is pushed back for months. Everywhere deemed "non-essential to life" is closed and in some places you will receive a fine or even jail time for being out of your hose for a "non-essential" purpose.
is this really a crisis?
The obvious answer is yes. The healthcare system isn't prepared for the wave of people that are currently coming in. This is why it's so important that we stay home, stay safe and wash our hands. In fact, I really love what the Paramount theater in Austin, TX, a classic old school theater's marque currently reads: "In order for us to be together, for now we must remain apart."
If you want my personal opinion, for those that are staying home, for the ones who are sheltering in place, we can get the idea that just because things are not normal that it is a crisis for us as well. Is it possible to look at losing your job as an opportunity? Could we look at this time as a sabbath of sorts? It's all about perspective. If the world is closed for a little bit, if the TV is frozen and there's nothing you can do about it, you have two options...
what to do when things are frozen
When the TV freezes right in the middle of a game, the first response is frustration or even anger –which makes sense. But now you have a choice to make. Do you get so mad and frustrated talking about how good things were, how close you were to winning, how stupid the game is, or do you actually do something about it?
Is it crazy to think that we might be able to take a break from it all together? Go outside. Pick up a book. Learn to cook something new. Make something with your hands. Put the phone down and spend time with those you love. These are all options in unprecedented ways right now, we just have to take advantage of them.
Here's the important thing to remember: This isn't going to last forever. So now is the time to develop new habits to carry back into your daily routines once life gets back to normal. Here's you chance - take it!
Finally, or second option, and probably most important option, will be when the time comes, we need to hit reset. Don't look at it like your losing everything you had before - even though for some that might literally be true. Recognize that when a major event happens in your life –either by choice or by force, that there's never a better time for change.
Now is a time you can reset your finances. Spend on only what is important and essential for life. Everything else is fluff.
Reset your relationships. Recognize social distancing shouldn't be a way to live - hugs, high-fives and handshakes are more in style than ever. Use them!
Reset your family. Set up a time to spend at home. Shelter in place once a week, even after the order is lifted. Play games, cook dinner from scratch, laugh until your belly hurts.
Reset your walk with God. Recognize that the slower, quieter pace is the pace He's used to. Spend time with him in the cool of the morning before the world gets crazy. He's always there and is always listening.
Love the way that Jesus does. Show people who He is every day, through every type of media possible –not just Sundays at church.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have never seen an event of this magnitude in our lifetime and likely never will again. What are you doing with it? How are you handling it? Are you seeing it for the value and opportunity that it can bring or has it brought nothing but frustration and anxiety to your heart and mind?
Today, I challenge you. Change your perspective. See all of this as an adventure and opportunity to better yourself and those around you. It'll all be over soon.
Until next time,