"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?"
Over and over again today, I have had this verse running through my head. Don't get me wrong, worrying about all the things going on right now makes sense and in no way do I want to downplay or diminish the seriousness of the situation. It is crucially important that we each do all that we can to care for one another: by social distancing, observing the CDC guidelines, washing our hands, staying home, shopping local to support small businesses that will feel the economic strain of this first, and not buying more than we need of supplies so others can have what they need. But I also reached a point today where I had to take a deep breath and remember that caution and care are one thing, but worry is another. Trying to come up with 16,000 different plans and scenarios of what I am going to do to deal with 16,000 different possibilities when I cannot possibly know what tomorrow will actually hold is not only unproductive, it's harmful. At some point, your brain and nervous system need a break.
I saw a Facebook post today that said: "I did not mean to give up quite this much for Lent." I know the disappointment, frustration, worry, and even grief is very real and very strong right now. But remember that God is with us. Remember that we are not the ones in control of the universe. We are in control of our choices and our attitudes, and we can choose faith instead of worry and fear. We can have views of joy and gratitude for the goodness and grace of God that is never canceled or absent. We can choose acts of kindness and care. We can remind ourselves that we can't add any days through worry, but we can add a lot of joy through faith.
Today is what you've been given. And I promise God's grace and goodness are present in powerful ways today. This good news can work joy down deep in our souls - a happiness that is not dependent on our circumstances or situations. This Friday is the international day of happiness! How will you choose joy and happiness, and how will you share them? Call a friend to check on them. Send a letter to a loved one. Go for a walk or sit outside or by a window. Turn off the news for a little while and read your Bible.
You can choose to worry about today, but can any of us really say that worrying adds anything to our lives? Instead, let's decide to celebrate the day that God has given us - let us rejoice and find healthy ways to be glad in it.
Sending you so much love and joy,