I have a tendency to ignore a lot of auditory input unless it is what I have chosen. I just tune it out and, if I can’t tune it out, I leave the room. There are things I don’t like hearing because they pull me in to listen and, sometimes, it isn’t good stuff to listen to for whatever reason. Also. sometimes listening is hard work.
Let’s take the coronavirus news as an example. At first, I was hearing so much that I had to stop and listen a bit. In the initial days of the coronavirus, when there was so much conflicting information, I had to weigh some things against my mind and heart. I heard a few illogical things. Things that, when I heard them, I thought — that makes no sense.
But then, it was front and center all day long. If the news was on, I tuned it out. The conflicting reports. The ever changing recommendations. And the variety of responses from the public. Hearing from all of the available sources on the coronavirus: from the CDC to the medical field to the state officials to other nations to business owners to struggling families is a lot to hear. The perspectives are never ending. And there are not enough hours in the day to hear it all. It isn’t that I don’t have compassion or care about what this means, but I cannot solve this problem. I can support those close to me who are struggling. I can pray for the vaccine makers to find what they need to find. I can pray for people to love one another, share their resources with those in need, and help in the ways they are called. I can do those things, too. I can listen to my friends as they process and grieve what this means for them. I can do what God is calling me to do.
In the end, here is what I do to limit my exposure to the coronavirus — I wash my hands more. I wear a mask when I am out in public. I don’t hang out in big gatherings. I had to find a sustainable path for myself. Mind you, I may get it Covid-19. It seems to be lurking everywhere — all across the world. And whether I live or die, it’s ok. I have peace. I have the blessed assurance of Heaven.
Scripture does not address the coronavirus but it does address the fear the coronavirus brings. Yes, there have been heartbreaking deaths — people dying alone with their families unable to be near them but who desperately want to be there. There have been a lot of hard things from livelihoods being completely disrupted to serious financial challenges. Of course, this situation has made my life uncomfortable and stressful in a few ways, but I am thankful that I have God’s peace. God’s promise is not that we will have an easy life. This is Earth, after all, not Heaven.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
I am so glad that verse is tucked into my heart. I even know it set to music, which is a bonus. Music always helps me memorize!
When there are sounds all around me, disrupting my day, I need to investigate them. I’ll talk more about Listening next time.
God’s blessings on your week!