As I sat on our deck early one morning, I experienced peace for the first time in many weeks. A gentle breeze rustled the trees. Alternating cicada chatter and birdsong filled the air. Dappled sunlight painted patterns on the lawn and puffy white clouds floated by in a bright azure sky. For those moments, to-do lists, deadlines, concerns, and challenges dissolved, and peace washed over me like warm water.
Following are suggestions for finding peace in a pandemic:
If you’ve forgotten the wonder of nature, view it through the eyes of a child. Watching the amazement and joy my grandson finds in nature reminds me to be more aware of this gift. He delights in seeing a hawk high in the sky, watching a butterfly or dragon fly, picking up acorns and looking at their “hats,” and watering plants on our deck. When I showed him a flower peeking through surrounding foliage, he exclaimed, “Glam-Glam, its’ so beautiful!”
This year, many have posted pictures of glorious sunrises and sunsets on social media, reminders of God’s glory and the beauty of our world. While much has changed in these days of a worldwide pandemic, nature continues to share gifts in sights and sounds. Find peace in all nature has to offer.
Last week, I heard a Telemann concerto on the radio. For those moments, I was totally involved in the beauty of the music. I listened to the voices of the individual instruments and the intricacy of their parts. I was reminded of the creativity of the writer and the skill of the musicians. Music has the power to sooth, calm, and transport us away from current struggles. Even if just for a short time, listening to music or playing an instrument offers peaceful respite.
Disconnect from Technology
Remember “back in the day” when we weren’t connected to screens for hours at a time? Nonstop connection to computers and phones allows little time for rest and quiet contemplation. Scrolling and interaction on social media or playing online games keeps us stimulated, and in some cases, upset. How I long for the days when I didn’t know everyone’s opinion on everything!
To enhance personal peace, consider a technology fast, a specified time each day when you disconnect from your phone or turn off your computer. Start small and increase the time as you go. Especially work on disconnecting in the evenings early enough to allow yourself to relax before bedtime. Use the time to read or write in a journal. Notice how periods of technology fasting sooth and bring peace.
Find the Good in Change
Many years ago, when a new elementary school was established in my town, those involved in naming the school were not able to agree and a big dispute ensued. Finally, someone suggested they name the school “Disputanna.” My grandfather decided he didn’t want his children attending a school with a negative (and stupid) name, so he took a board from his lumberyard to a sign painter and had him paint Westview School on it. He told the sign painter to take it to the school that night and mount it over the door. It looked official, no one questioned who chose the name or hung the sign, the dispute ended, and the name stuck.
In many ways, we are living in a world of “Disputanna.” Fault-finding, criticism, negativism, and unrest seem to be the norm. To add to that, almost everything in our everyday life is different. Change is hard and the last few months have brought much more change than is usual for a short span of time. While we might grumble and complain, we are adaptable and resilient. It is possible to find something good in challenging and unfamiliar circumstances. Finding the good moves us forward and promotes peace.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we are not in control. Plans and schedules give the illusion of control, but a global pandemic quickly burst our “in control” bubble. Feeling out of control can be frightening, but lack of control also forces us to be more flexible in how we approach life. It reminds us everything doesn’t have to function on a time frame of our making and encourages putting faith and trust in God. Acknowledging that One greater than we is in control brings peace.
Many people discount the benefits of spiritual growth and development, deeming them unnecessary. When all is right in our world, we often neglect the spiritual part of ourselves, but our spiritual nature is an integral part of who we are. Spiritual growth occurs when we face life challenges. Uncertainty and hardship kindle a desire to know more about things of the Spirit. This is accomplished by cultivating a relationship with God through prayer and studying God’s word. Peace comes with a greater knowledge of God’s character and provision for our lives.
One of the biggest challenges of finding peace is remembering current circumstances will get better. Life seasons come and go, and the difficulties we face today will moderate in the days ahead. While we can’t control the progression of COVID-19, we can choose to remain hopeful that a vaccine, and new methods of treatment, will lessen the spread and the death toll. By focusing on positives, maintaining forward motion, and trusting God, we can find peace during a pandemic.
With the loving mercy of our God, a new day from heaven will dawn upon us. It will shine on those who live in darkness, in the shadow of death. It will guide us into the path of peace. Luke 1:78-79 NCV
By focusing on positives, maintaining forward motion, and trusting God, we can find peace during a pandemic.
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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