I pause, feeling helpless as an individual in a global pandemic, wishing I could make a difference.
I wasn’t your typical parent and sports wasn’t my thing. Like many, I supported my children in their endeavors, encouraged them, and set guidelines to create a positive atmosphere. However, I was one who stood on the outskirts observing. Quietly cheering them on, rather than shouting out my praises or hovering in a state of ready to help. I was timid, perhaps, but my rationale was to urge them to step out and tackle what they wanted, greatly on their own.
I sat in the sunshine as it streamed through my kitchen window this morning. In the quiet solace of a relatively new empty nest, I contemplated the tragedy our world is presently experiencing. I tried to put a description to what I’m witnessing and feeling while we, as a world, pause together. When this Covid-19 epidemic was first rearing its ugly head, cities and countries were demanding people isolate. I’d felt that stopping normal activity was merely prolonging the inevitable. In the meantime, it was destroying the financial security and livelihoods of far more lives than this virus would ultimately take.
As many of us, I’ve observed and formed opinions only to have those beliefs mutate. With each wave of new reality that ebbs and flows, consumes and yet leaves us hanging, my thoughts change. In a world blessed with the benefit of quick results, we’re being challenged greatly. We’re expected to hunker down and wait for the worst, not knowing how devastating it will be. Though trying to be positive, we’re completely aware of how vulnerable we truly are. We’re not in control. We talk as if life is normal, plan for tomorrow as if it’ll be the same as yesterday, oblivious to what’s coming. Yet we’re keenly attentive at the same time.
My eyes settled on the unnerving calm outside my window when a vivid memory flooded my mind. A hush had fallen over the field, a quiet that beat with the same heart of today’s eeriness. It’d been a cool fall day and I was attending our high school’s soccer game to support my youngest in his sports interests. He’d been active on and off the field, a great aid to his team and coach. I watched from my perch on the hillside where I’d been quietly cheering from the outskirts, more distant than most parents. It was the perfect location to be a witness. The whole field of boys, both teams in a wave of solemn solidarity, took a knee. Someone was down.
We Are Taking A Knee
I’ve grumbled that life should go on and that this virus will and should run its course. I’ve felt the economic hit to the world as we’re required to pause seems senseless. But all in a moment, with this memory offering revelation, I understood. We who are not on the front lines, who are not critically ill, who are not treating the sick and dying, who are not hurriedly trying to create a way to accommodate anticipated needs, we who are not putting our lives in danger to try to save some while witnessing the loss of many, we are taking a knee. This is serious. The risks are great to those people on the front-lines, the hurt as well as the helpers. It’s important that we pause to offer the chance of some sort of success to those fighting this battle.
The young player was helped up from the ground. Both teams in unison rose from their knees and applauded as he was loaded on the school’s John Deere Gator and taken off the field. Tears filled my eyes at the touching scene. Opponents and teammates alike were united as they had taken a knee and paused, unable to help, but quietly allowing those who could to do their jobs.
A Relevant Comparison
Based on an October 14, 2014 article posted on Forbes’ website “Should Players Be Required to ‘Take A Knee’ When A Fellow Competitor Gets Injured” written by Bob Cook, I see the relevant comparison. “Taking a knee as a sign of respect for an injured player isn’t just something for football. … It’s a sign of respect and concern when someone is hurt, but more than that putting players in that position means they’re not moving, chattering, or doing anything else than could look disrespectful. It also sends a signal to the stands that the injury is serious, and everyone should be concerned.”
Pause for the Pandemic
Covid-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by WHO (World Health Organization). Its overall impact to the world’s population right now is serious. We should be concerned. Not only is our senior population threatened, based on today’s White House press conference, millennials, the future of the world, are becoming critically ill as well.
We’re settling into a new, quickly-changing reality of which we’re not in control, and accepting isolation, pausing from activity, may allow the front-line war to be more manageable and the next generation to live on. We are those soccer players. Perhaps once opponents in opinion, political party, or religious beliefs, we are now united as a world. If nothing else, the rapid spread of Covid-19 throughout the earth shows how intimately connected we really are as a people. Let’s spread support and kindness just as rapidly. Take a knee. Pause for the pandemic. Make a difference.
God’s peace to you,
“Being idle and allowing God full control seems too awkward, perhaps even sinful.” If this describes your struggle as life presently feels out of control, click here for my video message proclaiming that Freedom Is Yours!
We are that river
There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. It’s so influential that even the streams coming from it refresh the distant lands they touch. It’s a holy place, that river. It houses the most High. We, the children of God, are that river. He is in the midst of us, living through us, and imparting His strength so that we can rest in Him and not live broken.
When we flow freely, unencumbered by life’s debris, when God pulses through our very being, His light shines from us like streams branching off from a river. Even the seemingly small things we do prompted by God encourage others to believe. They’re touched by Him through us, often without us even being aware.
Let God guide your journey
Entrusting our lives to God and His will allows Him to guide us through riverbanks He’s already carved. Some appear good, some appear bad. Following through on His nudges often leads to witnessing things that could only have come from One who knows all. For these experiences we praise and worship Him. However, sometimes that revelation comes later. Hold tight.
Difficulties place us where God needs us
When we endure difficulties of which others judge and condemn us, rather than lash out, stand confident. God is in control still. He positions us where He needs us to be. There’s no need to defend. Don’t allow these seemingly bad situations to hinder His work. Fight the urge to complain or attack in response. Wait in quiet trust. Keep your eyes on Him, and watch God reveal His purposes. In this way we’re able to offer an example of the pure power of God.
Resist angrily giving back what is being done to you. Restrain from seeking vengeance. God does so in His time and to a degree that serves His purposes, furthering His will. Let Him repay evil for what evil has done. It’s not your job. Let that freedom penetrate and enjoy the weight lifted.
Relax in the flow of God’s will.
Rest, relax in the flow of His will. Sink in, and don’t worry about what you may or may not accomplish. He provides abundantly what’s needed. Resting in Him renews our Spirit as we continue to grow closer and more in love with Him. Allow fully His Spirit to fill and flow through you. Relationship with Him is the most important thing of life.
There’s a river that God’s in the midst of. Be that river, trusting and filled so much that streams of His presence branch off from you, offering refreshment to others.
Is friendship essential to the soul? Essential, as a word, indicates something that is vital, fundamental, a lifeblood, or a necessity. Does this describe what a friend is or should be to us? I dare say we put too much value in creation and things of this earth, including people such as our friends.
When we value someone to the degree that they are a necessity or a crucial need in our lives, we’ve placed them higher than they should be. With a demand so strong, we risk hindering both our life and that of those we cling so tightly to.
What is the purpose of friendship, what part do we play as a friend, and what is our friend’s role in our life? Are we able to heal them when they’re hurting? Can we protect them when tragedy strikes? Do we keep guard when enemies threaten? Are we peacemakers when life overwhelms? Strength, wisdom, peace, hope, and encouragement are all sought from friends or expected of us by others. However, all of these are not, or should not be, our functions in life.
We’ll be sorely disappointed if we cling to another person and expect them to fulfill a role for us they’re not meant to. They cannot meet all of our needs. By letting our unfulfilled expectations be known, expectations that cannot fully be achieved by anyone, we impose the impression of failure on our friends, inflicting disappointment on them.
When we try to be the best friend, offering advice, giving guidance, and trying to be what we think others would want of us, we fall short, struggle to keep up the façade, and find ourselves stressed out and anxious. We can’t possibly be all to all or even all to one other person. It’s exhausting and leads to unhappiness in ourselves and our friendships.
Imagine if we treated friendships as freedom, allowing someone a safe place to simply be. We should listen without judgement or offering opinion. God’s whisper of direction can then be heard by our friend. We should treat friendships as an extension of ourselves by being present to uplift and pray with one another in times of rejoicing or struggle. Where two or more are gathered together praising the Lord a sacred space is created.
Friendships, true and unconditional in nature, I believe, are blessings from God, rather than essential to the soul. They offer dimension to our lives. They enrich the basics of living. Friends bring a layer to our humanity that feeds our personalities, challenges our comfort zones, and should keep us focused on God.
Don’t let friendships become exhausting.
God, however, is the One who is essential to our soul. He is our Creator, and He formed us with a need for a deep intimate connection with Him. We feel best, perform best, are healthiest in mind and soul when we live life as one with Him. It is God who should be our confidante, comforter, protector, and the source of our strength. These qualities of His are supernatural and become very powerful in the lives of His children.
As a friend, be there to encourage your friend to keep God, first and foremost, at their center no matter how difficult the circumstances. Be there to allow a safe place to vent. Not so that you can advise, but to let them hear their own voice and sense God’s response. We should rejoice together as God gives direction and praise God together as He comforts and imparts His peace during times of difficulty.
When we are that kind of friend, we grow in our own relationship with God. By directing others to the One who is essential to the soul, we are being fed as well. Our soul is filled to overflowing, and our friends benefit by that which overflows from our being, that is God. So, are friends essential to the soul? No, but a good friend will direct you to Him who is. Though we all want to be of value to someone, it takes a strong person to step aside and let God have that rightful place. He is essential to your soul.