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Pandemic: Taking Things One Day at a Time

Hey, fam. How ya doing?

Someone asked me that this week, and I responded by saying I was mostly fine, with occasional bursts of abject terror or grief.

Part of this is having to live with such huge uncertainty about how transmission of covid-19 might swell, what it will do to the economy, and to life as we know it.

Phew! Big thoughts. Back in 2015 (you probably can't remember that far back, the world was very different in many ways), The Atlantic ran an article, How Uncertainty Fuels Anxiety. Good article. In a nutshell, humans are unique because we can think about the future. But because the future is unknown, that can make us anxious. Especially now, amirite?
We can't entirely take things one day at a time. We've got to order our groceries (sometimes weeks in advance), think through some "what-ifs" that have a decent probability of happening.

But then, we have to let it go. We cannot prepare for every eventuality. And most significantly, we cannot assure ourselves that nothing will happen that will bring us discomfort, or pain.

When you are in the potential path of a hurricane, first you make decisions. Stay or go? If you stay, then you make preparations. You buy groceries, board up your windows, locate the flashlights and radio. And then you wait. That's all you can do. You can't make the hurricane change paths, you can't make it "hurry up and just get here already." You wait. You deal with the storm when it hits, hunkering down. When the eye goes over, you come out, assess, decide whether you need to adjust your plans - maybe you need to move to a different room, or a neighbor's home. Then you hunker down again. After it abates, you venture out. You assess damage. You deal with the immediate crises. You tally your resources. And you begin making plans for rebuilding your life.

You can do this.

You have survived everything life has thrown at you.

The last hurricane I rode out, after I and my neighbors boarded up our homes as best we could, we gathered out in the street for an impromptu party. We caught up on each other's lives, we ate, we drank, we laughed.

It's a good model for now. No matter what happens tomorrow, you have today. Make the most of it.

And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to their life?... Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 
Matthew 6:27-29


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