Contagion

As of late, everything on TV and in the news has been about the Coronavirus. News channels have sensationalized it and individuals managing their own anxiety (myself included) post humorous memes downplaying the severity of the situation or mocking the toilet paper hoarders. (I mean, really, how much toilet paper does a person really need?) People cleaned out grocery store shelves and bought all of the ammunition at every gun shop in town. I even saw a couple of Facebook posts claiming the antichrist was on his way. Paranoia and worry sweep the nation illustrating a fundamental of systems involving people. That fundamental is this: Anxiety is contagious. All of us feel our anxiety rise when we are exposed to the anxiety of another. The anxiety that the Coronavirus brings is a bit different. In areas that are still waiting to feel the brunt of the pandemic, there is a latent low level anxiety awaiting something to happen. This manifests in people making multiple trips to the grocery store or seeking out ways to experience themselves as having some sense of control. For that is really what the anxiety is about. We are venturing into the unknown. This problem we face has no clear margin. It simply sits there free floating like our anxiety. The timeline is uncertain as are its ultimate effects on our lives. This afternoon as I was sitting in my office considering the situation, I was reminded of a Bible passage found in 1 Peter 5:7. It says: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” In reflecting on this passage, it became clear to me that we do not face our anxieties alone. There is one greater than us that walks with us through our struggles. Although we may not have all of the answers, we do have the assurance that we don’t walk alone. This thought offers me peace and gives me a choice. I can choose to be part of the collective anxiety of the circumstance or I can choose to believe that something larger than me has my best interest at heart. The latter gives me piece. Ironically enough, our anxiety stems from a perception of having lost control. The function of it is to push us to regain control. The reality is that the only way to get rid of the anxiety is to let go. Anxiety comes from holding on while peace comes from letting go. Cast all of your anxieties upon Him because He cares for you…

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