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Ripples that Truly Matter (Learning from COVID-19)

It's funny how in such a short a time, the saying "we are living in strange times" can sound so cliche. But we are, and it is, and I can choose to go back to normal after it's all over, or I can let this change my life for the better, for good.

There has been a change that I have noticed in our general society that probably hasn't happened in ages; maybe it's never happened before. I don't know. But has anyone else noticed the change between the world saying, "do what feels good for you; if it makes you feel good, do it," and suddenly it is now saying, "let's come together and all do the best we can to make good decisions that don't lethally harm anyone else"?

Suddenly, society is aware that even if you're healthy, your actions can affect other people. Imagine that.

The whole world is whistling a totally different tune than the one it has been whistling for decades, and although the circumstances are horrible and hopefully end soon, I have to be honest and say that seeing the world actually care about how our actions can affect each other is insanely refreshing.

What if the world was able to maintain this attitude even after the Coronavirus is over? What if we maintained the mentality of being mindful of one another?

I'm not saying that we should stay in our homes and quarantine ourselves all the time once it's finished, but I am saying that maybe we could continue making decisions that reflect that we were mindful of other people in the aftermath of our decisions? Maybe instead of treating our lives like they're our own and any consequences we may suffer are going to affect only us, this will have helped us to finally understand that that mentality simply is not true.

Who you befriend matters. Who you work with matters. Who you date matters. Who you let go of matters. Who you marry matters. Your parents matter. Your time matters. Your loved ones' time matters. Who you spend your time with matters. Wouldn't it be beautiful for us to have a better, deeper realization after all this is over that our decisions have a more profound ripple effect that we never knew they had?

I know it would not save us from imperfection and mistakes, but it could save us from countless and needless and devastating mistakes that end up deeply hurting us and the people around us that we love. If we could act out of a place of wisdom and love instead of insecurity or apathy, the world around us would blossom so much more. If we acted out of a place of truth (not just the farce of relative truth) and grace, pain will still happen, hearts will still be broken, but for the right reasons. I think everyone would agree that generally, pain is okay if it is not pointless. A mother doesn't have anger and resentment toward her newborn child because giving birth was painful to her. But we hold resentment when we feel that the pain we endured was pointless and/or unfair. What if through all of this, I could learn and you could learn how to be and act and decide out of a place of being mindful of those around us?

Not to take this into a different direction, but to just be plain, I think this is why I'm drawn to Christianity, and it has a lot to do with this whole concept.

I know the church has messed up. I'm one of the kajillion people that has made the church look bad. I completely get it. But really, having a relationship with Christ is what helps me to chisel out the sculpture of my life in a way that I would make a total mess out of if I didn't have Him. I can try to make decisions that only please me (which would destroy lives around me), or I could swing the pendulum the opposite way and only make decisions that only please the people around me (which would destroy my life), or I could try to balance both (which could hurt both at the same time and leave me feeling empty and disillusioned). But being centered in what IS solidly good, true, graceful, wise, loving, and right, I am not left to my own stupidity and fallible nature that is not capable of balancing all of that on my own. I need guidance of goodness that is way beyond my own perception. I need truth that is not just "my" truth that just leaves me seeing an empty, one-dimensional facet of life and the world. I need grace when I cannot forgive myself for all the wrongs I have done and people I have hurt. I need wisdom that is far above my little pea-brain's capability. I need supernatural love to help me when all I can produce is resentment or anger or fear. I need rightness beyond my own understanding that helps me to stand firm instead of just going with the flow of whatever is popular at the time that may prove to be false later. So rooted in faith, I am aided to make decisions that are beyond better than if I was only left to my good intentions.

In this time, may I (and we) learn to see the rest of our lives in a similar way that we are seeing them now-- that we may live lives that leave ripples that truly matter.

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