I got back from a trip to the Colorado Springs area of Colorado about a month ago. It was beautiful spring weather displaying the full majesty of the front range of the Rocky Mountains. One of the things that fascinates me about this area is the wildfires. There are whole sides of mountains that have only dead trees sticking up like the backs of great porcupines arching into the sky. It is beautifully devastating. In fact, it is not only common to have sporadic wildfires in this area, it is essential to the health of the ecosystem.
Photo by Joanne Francis on Unsplash
Without these wildfires the underbrush is left to grow wild and the tree canopy becomes so dense that it chokes out life below. Along comes a fire and resets everything. It is overwhelmingly disruptive and, at first seems only destructive. Given time, if you look closely, up from the nutrient enriched soil (created by the soot and charcoal from the fires) you see green shoots. Something new is being birthed. Fresh, new plants, trees and wildflowers begin a whole new creation before our eyes. Incredible.
We live in an uncertain and unprecedented time in recent history. As the spread of the coronavirus continues to disrupt our lives it seems to move like a wildfire. At first, it is only the destruction that we see and are fearful of. How this will affect our health, our finances, our social lives is still up in the air and feels very uncomfortable. But as this time unfolds let’s make sure to look for the green shoots. What is trying to be rebirthed here? In the world? In our culture? In your life?
Photo by Lee 琴 on Unsplash
Of course, I would not wish sickness or financial strain or fear on anyone, and certainly do not think God has created this pandemic to teach us a lesson. But, as Dan Allender says, let’s not waste our pain. Since this is happening, let’s look for opportunities… the new growth that will be trying to sprout out of the disruption.
As I have tuned into the cultural response to all this there is obvious fear and isolation, along with those who are just not taking this seriously enough. For those who are staying put though, I almost sense a collective sigh of relief. We are being forced to slow down the breakneck speed of life and something in us is responding. I know it is difficult to figure out the new normal in the discomfort, but when you look past the inconvenience you start to see the good.
People are putting Christmas lights out on their houses to spread cheer and light. There are those who will fight you for a roll of toilet paper, but there are also those who are giving you the place in line in front of them. We just got an email inviting those with children to have them draw or write letters to send to seniors to keep their spirits up since they cannot have visitors in this time. I am incredibly grateful to those on the front lines: medical professionals, counselors and therapists, bosses and leaders making tough decisions, grocery store workers and more. Many authors and celebrities are putting out videos online reading children’s books, helping keep kids entertained and connected. Just this morning I came home to my wife and kids flying a kite in the backyard and, of course, I joined in.
If you look at the hillside that is this time in history, there is a titlewave of good popping up all over and I want to be a part of it! How about you?
It starts with looking for the green shoots. What is trying to be re-birthed in you? What are the opportunities presenting themselves to you?
– spending more time with my family
– slowing down my pace of life
– reconsidering what is important in my life
– finding out what I am really anchored to when things are not as easy
– taking stock of my life and practicing gratitude
– try out practices like solitude, journaling or meditation
– catching up on much needed sleep
– getting the household chores done I have felt behind on
– taking up baking, guitar, learning a language, other hobbies
– taking a walk in nature
– disconnecting from so much technology
– reinstating family game night or no phone dinners (actually talking)
– What is it for you?
I know it isn’t easy. Hang in there and be a part of this title wave of good! Oh, and for the love of God, wash your hands :*)