Reflections from the Home Team - March 29, 2020
“We all know a physical virus can be dangerous, but so can an ‘idea virus’. Let's respond to the fear, negative thoughts, panic and uncertainty with positive, contagious energy.” Jon Gordon
Greetings from Cedar Falls!
Every day seems to bring more news about COVID-19 and every hour seems to deliver more unwelcome changes and decisions made to slow the transmission rates of the virus. As baseball spring camps have been closed down, the NBA having suspended its season, the NCAA cancelling its men's and women's basketball tournaments and wrestling tournament, and the NHL’s regular season being paused, the impact is being felt across all sports. Things certainly feel emptier now and that can be very unsettling.
As the virus was in its beginning stages here in this country, many MLB clubs advised their players to avoid signing autographs, shaking hands or having any other kind of personal interactions with fans. To most players, that was a foreign concept, especially at this time of the year! Baseball enthusiasts often say that the best thing about the game is that every single day you have a chance to see something you've never seen before, and quite honestly, nobody has ever seen anything like this. In this atmosphere, both in baseball and, clearly, beyond, we are all rethinking even the most natural and mundane movements and it's difficult and uncomfortable for all.
As I’ve often shared, baseball has offered me many valuable lessons when I’ve been confronted with some of the curveballs that have been “pitched” my way. Just as the game of baseball and other sports have implemented precautions that are keeping the players and everyone else safe, I think we all can acknowledge the situation is certainly not ideal. I’m confident we will work through it and the good news is that everyone appears to be cooperating in these first, awkward weeks as we all await the time when things will get back to normal, hopefully sooner than later. That’s a TEAM effort, and a lesson we can all benefit from.
Clearly, the stakes for humanity right now are far greater than determinations of whether games are played in empty stadiums or whether the games are even played at all… As this all plays out in directions few of us could have ever imagined as recently as a few weeks ago, we can only hope lives are protected, infections are contained, and normalcy returns for all soon. In schools, churches at offices and, yes, even in arenas, gyms and stadiums.
The Coronavirus has disrupted everyone’s life in some form or another. Even during the best moments, there is an underlying stress which tends to chip away at our sanity, especially as we socially distance and isolate ourselves to help mitigate the spread of this virus. I had a good friend email me the following today: “I've always been a fan of social distancing anyway, but I am about ready to kidnap my grandkids! From a spiritual point of view, I've been thinking that maybe this will help everyone slow down and realize what is really important as we draw closer to HIM...” That is the good that can come out of all this, but it’s certainly not easy getting there!
Unfortunately, we have witnessed panic, fear, anxiety and negative thoughts consume many folks over the past few weeks. Jon Gordon has an interesting perspective on all this, and I’ve shared below his recent post on “How to overcome negative thoughts and fear”. Couldn’t have come at a better time!
I have always found comfort in the Psalms when I find myself struggling with those nasty ‘idea viruses’. The Psalms have provided me with peace when I place my focus on the One who gives it to each of us. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to start slowly and purposely meditating on God’s word. It is a soul-stilling activity. Take some time and read a Psalm thinking about what it is saying about who God is, and what His power is in the “idea virus” situations we all face in our daily lives. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.” Psalms 94:19
The Psalms are not the only source of peace and strength in God’s word. Seek out stories of God’s provision in the Bible. The God who met those needs is the same God who meets our needs. The fact that we are anxious and stressed does not come as a surprise to God. Take this time to lay every concern before Him. Begin by thanking God for every good thing in your life, whether it be that you have toilet paper and hand soap, or that the sun is shining. Focus upward and outward with the positive energy Jon refers to above.
While we are at it, let’s also pray for others: the leaders making tough decisions, essential workers who daily put their health at risk to meet the needs of our community, children and parents who have lost their routines, and for people with compromised health. The list is endless. Prayer is also a powerful way for maintaining our mental health and helping us all get through this.
We are in a unique period of time where all the “extra” stuff in life has been canceled. By responding to the fear, negative thoughts, panic and uncertainly with positivity and God’s word, we can be reminded of two very important things: God is still God, and this too shall pass.
Blessings to each of you!
Are you or someone you know fighting cancer... struggling with the physical, emotional and spiritual issues that accompany a cancer journey or other serious health issue? Making ourselves available to others can open up the doors of opportunity for deeper relationships, healing, and transformation. For many, time is one of the most valuable commodities in today's fast-paced world. Sharing time with others is a wonderful gift. It says, "Here I am. . . for you. To listen, to care, to serve." The power of presence should never be underestimated!
Be an encourager in someone else’s life!
To learn more about being an encourager, and to view the Reflections blog, visit the Reflections from the Home Team website at: