“16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[a] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – Paul, The Apostle, 2 Corinthians 4, The Bible.
The common saying is that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I have proven this to be true. The thing is, I suffer from a disorder, a fatalistic disorder. You may call it “Castatrophising”. A term borrowed from Dr. Henry Marsh, retired neurosurgeon. He said, “doctors are both fatalistic and anxious about their family’s health…” Well, I catastrophise about my own health. A weird pain on the left side of my chest is? You guessed it! A heart attack. It’s natural for me to think the worst of any situation.
I have terrible sinus issues which means I don’t breathe properly on a normal basis. So imagine in a time of Covid-19, I wake up breathing short. Quickly I would self-diagnose, surely I have been infected. Suffice it to say, I had a logical talk with the voice in my head and remained as calm as ever. Went on to steam my face with water infused with eucalyptus oil. Alas! All was right with the world.
The truth is this, 90% of what we fear will never happen. The 10% is however magnified to nine times over. Panic sets in as our mind race through all the permutations of what might happen. Then we zero in on the worst and hasten its coming. This inner turmoil sometimes have physical consequences: neck muscles tighten, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia and indigestion.
How do we maintain our sanity?
Not everything will miss you. Somethings will hit you head on. At this juncture I introduce God. The Creator, by who’s divine will the universe operates, may allow for sickness to afflict us. This may be temporary, permanent, benign or malignant. Why? Hind sight is 20/20 but trying to figuring God is an impossible task, an effort in futility. If you manage to figure Him out then you would be god too.
What exactly lies in my future? I am unable to say. Search all humans and you will find each having some physical imperfection dealing with. Whether it’s an eye, toe, knee, finger, stomach, heart, kidney, penis, vagina or mind, some part of our anatomy is plagued by a malady. We are all struggling with some defect. Biologist say it’s mutation. The bible says, sin caused the deterioration in creation. The former has no end, while the latter will end with the second advent of Christ.
Facing life’s inevitable crises requires adjusting one’s perspective. An attitudinal shift allows us to endure tragedies. A few things to be mindful of:
1. Nothing lasts forever
2. Somethings will hit you head-on.
3. You are not in control of most of the resources that sustain your life
4. Science doesn’t have all the answers.
5. Some events cannot be explained and that’s ok.
6. You may or may not be healed.
7. When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
In sickness and in health it pays to be positive and remain hopeful. The hope I speak of cannot be earthly because this crisis is showing how utterly deficient human systems are in solving basic problems. Your reason for hope must literally be “out of this world” in order for you to survive this world. A quote from a book I often read in times of trouble:
Buoyed by what will be, we press on through what is, knowing fully well that what might be is still only a maybe. Casting our minds forward to a time and place when all these things will be no more gives hope. Man without hope is wretched and miserable. A certain joy remains for us who know that deliverance will one day come. The Christian’s joy is tied to the sure promise of Christ’s return to deliver a people from sin and all its consequences. As night follows day, God remains in control of all eventualities and He it is who guides us to the moment of complete deliverance.
Until then, my encouragement to you is this, read the promises in the Bible, over and over again. Accept them as yours too. Pray. Meditate. Help who you can. I now share some videos that are personal favorites, materials I use to stay motivated, positive and hopeful.
4. Getting unstuck
Keep these on repeat until you get the message ringing in your ears.
Stay inside. Be safe. May God continue to have mercy on us all.