2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years in many generations, and there is more uncertainty ahead. Will public schools open in the fall? How will parents deal with children staying at home and learning online when their work situations are hanging in the balance? Will the COVID-19 virus continue unabated or will it begin to diminish? Will the people of the USA reach herd immunity? Will there be a vaccine in the near-term future? The economy is showing signs of recovery, but will governmental leaders allow the recovery to continue? The USA is dealing with civil unrest unlike anything seen in nearly 40 years. When will life return to normal, or will life return to normal?
This has been a period of life so unsettling that even those individuals who thrive upon change have longed for calmer days. One friend recently wrote, “I’m not a doom and gloom type of person. My faith and trust in God are the sustaining elements of my life. But these past few days/weeks/months have left me feeling like King David in Psalm 55:4-8, “My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death assail me. Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me. I said, ‘Oh that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest—-I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.'”
One of the tougher lessons of life is that we are never in control of things. There are ALWAYS diseases, accidents, and the actions of others that may enter our lives which we cannot prevent or control. For people who now can control everything from the lighting of the home to the temperature of their oven or outdoor grill from their phone (that may be miles away from home), being out of control is more troubling than ever.
Therefore…we thought it might be an opportune time to mention a few things we can control. Committing to controlling them will indeed bring additional peace into our lives. We can calm the troubled seas!
- We CAN control how much time we spend looking at our phones! Put away Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, and all of the social media for a predetermined period of time. Social media amplifies the uncertainty of the era, as friends tend to make battles personal when they are not with flesh and blood. Spend that time talking with your spouse and reading God’s Word.
- We CAN control how much time we spend talking about ideas rather than about people (to repeat a point from an earlier blogpost this week).
- We CAN control how much network news enters our eyes and ears. No one here will ever encourage someone to put their head in the sand (I am a news junkie after all), but how many different voices do we need to hear talk about the same daily events.
- We CAN help calm future financial stormy seas by committing ourselves to building 1) a strong emergency fund, 2) a future with less debt, and 3) creating a financial cornerstone of retirement income that is independent of market volatility.
We can never create a life that is absolutely protected from the uncertainties of life. However, we can commit ourselves to act in ways that will help provide comfort during the difficult periods. Here is to calming the story seas of an uncertain time of life.