Recently, I had a conversation with a man who immigrated legally to the United States with his family. When asked why they came to this country, he replied, “Freedom. Religious freedom.” He went on to say that he is extremely concerned about the upcoming election, fearing those with a socialist agenda will come to power. “We left our home country to escape socialism and religious persecution. Now, I’m afraid we will deal with the same thing here.”
We live in uncertain times. While politics and a pandemic are at the forefront of uncertainty and anxiety, other situations in our lives also factor in. Is it even possible to be at peace during these troubled times? Yes, but you must actively pursue personal peace.
Following are a few ways to cultivate peace amid uncertainty:
Disconnect from Media
While it’s good to stay current with local and national news, the constant bombardment of negative campaign ads and slanted news reports increases anxiety and creates fear. To enhance peace, limit the amount of time you spend watching television and listening to controversial programing. It’s also a good idea to allow a respite from social media, where people increasingly post their own opinions or forward posts they haven’t taken the time to vet for accuracy.
Media has become so much a part of our lives we sometimes forget we don’t have to stay connected all the time. Do yourself a favor and find other pursuits that are less stressful. Engage in conversations on topics other than politics and “the virus.” Revert to entertainments like board games, jigsaw puzzles, and charades. Listen to music, sing, or go through a box of pictures. Resurrect hobbies you once enjoyed. Finding peace during these days is challenging, but with a little effort you can calm anxiety and refocus.
Spend Time in Prayer and Quiet Contemplation
In uncertain times, prayer is our best friend. When we have no control over our circumstances, and certainly not over world situations, prayer brings comfort and peace. You can pour out your heart to God regarding fears, frustrations, injustice, and concerns, and know he hears and cares. No matter what happens politically, or with the pandemic, God is still in control.
During these glorious days of fall colors and cooler temperatures, take advantage of the season. Go for a drive and enjoy the variation of colors and patterns. Sit outside, listen, and reflect. Walk in your neighborhood or up a mountain trail. Spend time beside water. Take pictures to savor later. The calming effect of nature should never be taken for granted. Nature soothes, refreshes, and brings peace.
Reject Worry as Worthless
Many people waste their lives worrying about potential outcomes that never happen. And, even if things turn out well for them, they find other concerns to take the place of their original worries. Peace is linked to trust and trust rejects worry as worthless. When worry threatens to overtake your thoughts, reject it, and ruminate instead on all that is good and positive in your life.
Realize Life Goes On
In the last few weeks, I’ve overheard people talk as if the days post-election will equal the end of the world. Really? Many people have endured great hardship and extremely difficult circumstances over the years, and yet survived, even thrived. Unless health situations shorten our lives, life continues despite disappointments, financial hardships, interpersonal struggles, and other challenges. With God’s help, you can maintain forward motion, find joy, and experience peace, even during times of difficulty and uncertainty. Tomorrow is not to be feared. Look to the future with expectancy, purpose, and peace.
The Lord rules over the deep waters; he rules as king forever. The Lord gives strength to his people and blesses them with peace. Psalm 29:10-11 GNT
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House) and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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