Right now there is a tremendous divide in our nation as together we face the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who work and those who wait.
The Essential Work
Many millions of people are overwhelmed and overworked: doctors, nurses, and other health care workers; public health officials and scientists, government leaders and grocery clerks, mask producers and delivery drivers. A member of my congregation cleans the local hospital’s ICU and she is worried and burdened by the challenges she sees. They are our front-line workers in the desperate battle to mitigate and eventually end the pandemic.
They need our prayers and unwavering support.
Almighty God, we call out to you for help. Your children are being overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bring strength, compassion, and hope to all who are working day and night to stop this pandemic. Guide our leaders with your wisdom. Empower the nations to work together. We cannot do this without your grace and power. Amen.
The Essential Wait
Yet as millions work and work to find a way through this pandemic, tens of millions are at home not sure what to do. I am writing this post primarily for those who are staying home, waiting for the pandemic to pass, And waiting is so hard.
As Americans we hate to wait. Our culture values action, doing, and productivity. We are measured by what we accomplish. We become restless if we don’t have something to do. We want instant gratification and satisfaction. We hate to wait.
But now so many must wait.
Perhaps, just perhaps, this is our opportunity to learn how to wait? How to simply be?
Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
Rather than learning to wait and be patient, many of us are practicing panic, worry, and anxiety. We become overly saturated with news and information. We succumb to despair rather than abide in hope.
Many spiritual practices that can help in the waiting. Scripture study and meditation is one; hymn singing and chanting is another. Many are finding new ways to volunteer, even in this season of social distancing.
The practice that I have embraced in recent years is Centering Prayer, a form of Christian meditation that I practice daily. I have written about this in other posts of my blog: here and here. You can also learn more at Contemplative Outreach. The practice of Centering Prayer deepens my trust in God and continues to transform my life from the inside out.
Perhaps this is your season to begin such a practice? In the next week or two I will be starting an online centering prayer group though the online Meditation Chapel. I will have more information in the coming days on this blog.
Centering Prayer will not be an instant pacifier. But it can help you learn to wait and stay calm as the present storm intensifies.
How are you handling this time of waiting?