Growing up, I used to get terrible motion sickness as my mom would drive through the curvy, hilly, windy southwest Missouri roads. It was always the worst on Sunday mornings because of course we were always running late for mass, so every curve and hill was taken at a speed that felt like the car could take flight at any moment (and to be honest, I’m not convinced it didn’t at least a few times). Each week, I could count on a queasy stomach, no matter what I ate, or didn’t eat, for breakfast. No matter if I would crack a window. No matter if I would take Dramamine. There was ultimately only one cure to help me from (*insert any of the hilarious/gross phrases for throwing up here*)…
Looking up, focusing my eyes not on the road immediately ahead of the car, but on the horizon. It would steady the dizziness and give my brain a chance to anticipate not just the nauseating hills and curves, but the destination that we were each moment gaining on, the world ahead. I can still hear my mom’s voice telling me,
I wonder how many times an hour the word “Corona” is used at current? It seems to be literally all anyone can think about or talk about or prepare for or deal with or dread these days. In a matter of weeks, for some of us, even more like days, it has taken over everything. It strikes fear for those concerned about getting sick, or those they love getting sick. It brings loss, with so many important events and milestones being cancelled or postponed. The tomorrow’s we planned for, and everything they were to contain, now feel stolen. It means uncertainty about the world around us as we know it in terms of economics, safety, politics, culture and even basic relationships.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself wrapped in a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts that swing more rapidly than ever before. Am I being safe with my choices? Am I able to take care of myself and those I love? How many times have I coughed today? What if I lose someone? What if people forget how to be people to each other? How many bowls of cereal can I eat before the milk goes bad? Who decided on the number 6 for how many feet apart we should be? Have I brushed my teeth today?…in some moments, this all seems like a game, and albeit, not a completely terrible one for someone who feels like life was too busy. In other moments, panic, fear, dread, anger, impatience, and frustration set up camp in my heart quickly.
And then I remember…to look up.
As our days blur together, sometimes with nothing to look forward to or be excited about, I want to fight to keep looking up. I want to worry less about each day, and more about who I want to be when Corona is no longer the most used word of any of our days. I want to think about how I can look back and say that I used my time well. I want to keep my eyes focused on the big picture: that this is God’s time too. That this waiting, this giant “pause” in our world, is not a pause at all, it is just as much our time as any other moment. I want to be able to remember how hilarious the internet was and how I wasn’t afraid of silence. I want to be able to say that I enjoyed my time in prayer with Jesus and hopefully, even managed to walk with others in their faith during this time. I want to say that I genuinely was able to slow down and not feel so overwhelmed. That I learned how to do something well.
Friends, if your heart has been uneasy, or unsatisfied, or scared, or frustrated…know that that’s ok. You’re not alone in that. And I hope that I won’t be alone in working on being a better version of myself, a better disciple, more aware of my identity as a daughter of God, whenever this is all over.
In these hard days, don’t forget to look up friends. Look up and see the big picture of where you… where we, are going. THIS is your time too. Don’t miss it! Read that book. Dance in the living room. Develop a real relationship with the people in your home. Learn to love silence. Get comfortable in your own skin. Let the hard days be hard, but promise yourself not to get lost in them. Ask God big questions and let your mind wander. Seek out beauty. Don’t forget to look up…literally sometimes. Become the person God made you to be!
(and try not to throw up along the way 😊)
For the Lord,