Surviving & Thriving in a Covid-19 World

How have you found yourself responding to the events of the last month?

I’d suggest our response is shaped by at least 4 factors

  • Our individual ‘psych makeup’
  • The information we are taking in and the sources we draw from
  • Our own life circumstances at this time
  • Our perception of God and how he operates.

If you are naturally anxious, have been listening indiscriminately to every scrap of news available, have just lost your job and your notion of God is shaped by ideas of vengeance and the like then chances are you are living in terror.

Only last night a friend shared a post from ‘breaking news’ apparently reporting that Putin had set 500 lions loose on the streets of Moscow. In crazy times crazy news becomes almost believable. Thankfully today we have Snopes to shout down the urban myths that previously would have started to sprout. Apparently Mark McGowan is secretly signing a deal with the bikie gangs to patrol the streets and round up anyone out and about without cause… I just made that up – so you won’t find it on Snopes…

So part of coping with this time is knowing who you are. Personally, I am guilty of ‘underplaying’ these types of crises and I am having to lift my own game to take it seriously. I tend not to get scared, but curious, maybe even a little bit excited at what may develop – and I don’t mean that in terms of how people suffer – but more in regards to how our world may change and what new challenges and opportunities we may have in front of us. That’s me. I’m also a little too much ‘she’ll be right’ for the current scenario so I am having to adjust appropriately.

So pay attention to your own psychological makeup. If (like me) you find it easy to be relaxed and a bit blase then you probably need to listen to good information and behave differently. If you’re a panicker then you probably need to sit with someone who can calm you down and assure you – the world will go on.

Then there’s our information sources. I have the benefit of an education that has taught me to listen, read and think critically. I’m a strong believer that newspapers are businesses that need to earn money and scary news sells better than calming news. Stats, horror stories and apocalyptic type news will always make more money than someone telling us that actually it will all be ok if we stay calm and follow the instructions.

I source information from lots of different places and try to filter it thru a ‘what have they got to gain from saying this?’ type of lens. If you’re a panicky person then you need to slow your news-watching and especially your facebook scrolling as that will only add to unnecessary fear. If you’re a little cynical then its time to let that go too. You don’t have to trust the newspapers, but at least source some consistently accurate information to help you understand the real situation.

Our life situation greatly impacts on how we deal with this crisis. If your job is shaky and your mortgage is large then you are probably worried – so you struggle to look away from the news as it impacts you significantly. Your challenge here is to not panic – do not press the panic button. You will be ok. Seriously – people have got thru way harder stuff.

We happen to be in a pretty good space in that our ‘earning season’ is almost over. We had a good year and we are headed into an expected (and longed for) slow down. We have had to cancel our trip to South Oz which is a bummer and I’m not looking forwards to a lockdown when it comes, but there are many in far worse situations

As for our perception of God… this is really important if we are people of faith. Some may well proclaim this an act of God. (I doubt it is.) Others will be confused by why God even would allow this to take place and then others know God – really know him and know that this is not his doing, but by staying close to him we find inner strength to keep going. My own perception of God begins with the conviction that God is good. If this isn’t true then I figure we are all screwed, but if God is good then I can trust him to help me in this time.

I’m very curious about how we can still ‘be church’, but with a highly digital element. I’m curious to see how the world changes and how people’s worldview gets disrupted in this time. But I have absolute confidence that in this time God has not looked away – he hasn’t called it quits on creation. He is as devastated as any of us at the tragedies that are taking place in his world.

So there’s just 4 lens thru which to consider your own responses and practice in light of where we are at.

What can you do?

Pray for our leaders – its a crappy thing to have to lead a country thru. They need our prayers for clarity and good discernment. And cut them a break. This is their first time doing this so if they get some stuff wrong don’t tear them apart. I am not Scomo fanboy, but him and his crew are genuinely giving it their best shot so seriously – SHUT UP with the nagging. If its so simple then go and do it yourself.

Look out for those we know who are vulnerable – the lonely, elderly, the poor – the people Jesus would see if he were here. Call someone or text them to see how they are going. Not rocket surgery… But often we don’t because we get inward focused.

Do the right thing – Right now I’m envisaging a total lockdown in the next month – right around the time the autumn swells hit our coast. its my absolute fave time of year. But if we are in lockdown then we will have to chose to miss those days. I will have to do the right thing and stay home. Oooooh… that is sooooo hard!

Get on board – if you’re a churchie, god botherer type then us pastor types want to encourage you to come to the party as we try new stuff and new ways to be church. It probably won’t be for ever, but along the way I think we will discover some valuable stuff that will reframe how we operate when we come back together… Let’s face it – you can’t go anywhere and you’ll probably be stuck at home surfing FB anyway so tune into the Sunday gig!

Anyway some reflections for those who are looking around for the panic button but also for these who still think it’s all a bit over top. The Corona virus is here to stay now, so best we figure out how to ‘do business’ with it around.

4 thoughts on “Surviving & Thriving in a Covid-19 World

  1. Hey Hamo this is really good encouraging stuff! I love your view on staying in the present, taking self responsibility & sowing kindness(reaching outside of ourselves). I know that this experience will change who I am! Thanks for putting it onto your words! Sandy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *