There is s always another way of looking at everything and its not usually what we see but how we see something that will determine our response. To quote the writer Dale Carnegie; Two men looked out through prison bars. One saw mud and the other saw stars. A person might approach a medical issue as something to be fought and ultimately got rid of with a fear that its out to rob us of life. Another may get the same illness and ask the question; what is this trying to teach me or even what is it trying to heal me of? The first approach is one of aggression and resentment towards the complaint whereas the other is of co-operation with the illness in order not just to be healed but to be made whole. Needless to say, the first by a positive approach will greatly improve their chances of recovery.
As a visual aid you might look at the piece shown. Its got a Roman shaped nose, a mustache and by putting on my own glasses you may see a personal resemblance! The Jewish Talmud teaches that; we see things not as they are but as we are, so its important to ask the question, how do I see this current crisis?
Jesus said; I have come that you may have life and have it to the full. If we were to take those words of Jesus and apply them to the Corona virus. Could we say that the virus, that has brought with it so much death and suffering, is also here that we might have life? Initially we will think that it is the last thing we need but could it be here to teach us some very important lessons? Certainly it’s a horrible darkness but it too must have come from the divine light. I was surprised, and Im sure many were shocked, to hear a celebrity on the Late Late say recently that the world needed the corona virus. So what might it be teaching us and what might its higher purpose be? How might it be here to bring us a better life and not death as would initially appear?
If we look at how our natural world has been abused and exploited. While so many are gasping for breath nature is catching hers and already recovering at a phenomenal rate. We were careering towards the edge of a precipice, and quite oblivious to the fact, until mother nature stopped us in our tracks, perhaps just in time. Brian Darcy made the point in an email the other day that God forgives, we sometimes forgive, but nature never forgives. This virus is not a living thing. It is something that a cell excretes in order to ensure its survival after becoming poisoned. Whatever about us needing Covid 19, Mother Nature had become so poisoned she needed to get rid of it.
How might we also have needed it? It seems highly possible to use a phrase from the Prophet Isaiah that; like sheep had all gone astray and each one to his or her own way. As our lives had become busier and busier we were losing the run of ourselves and had become more human doers rather than human beings. This is the time for being when we can’t do all that much. Human worth had become identified with how productive we were rather than who we were. To be or not to be was the big question posed by Hamlet and we had unconsciously chosen not to be and settled for doing. This is the time when we have little option except to slow down and simply to be. It must be acknowledged that the initial experience of simply being is excruciatingly difficult if we were always doing something or going somewhere.
The great paradox was that when this virus struck, our world was never as full and yet more and more we were feeling unfulfilled. What we didn’t realize was that the bigger the doughnut the greater the hole and we were falling into it. As our world expanded outwardly we were moving farhter from our center and were fast losing touch with who we really were. Outward appearances had become all important. Now the all important labels mean very little; those once concerned with appearance are wearing unsightly face masks and gloves now cover the once manicured nails. In the words of a Johnny Cash song; it’s a long and painful journey on our lonely way back home. No matter how long or painful it may be, Corona is leading us back home to ourselves. And of course we thought we didn’t need it!
At a spiritual level we stand at one of the most teachable moments in human history. We are now able to hear Truth at a level we were unable to until now. When Christ was feeding the five thousand with the loaves and fish he told the people to sit down. Prior to this we were always standing up, with our mind on where we were going, but now we are forced to sit. While many wil try to return to so called normal life when this virus is over, there will be loads who will experience the most profound spiritual awakening of their lives. This kind of awakening never happens while we are complacent in our comfort zone but only when we have been pushed to the edge or in this case far beyond. Many are realizing during this time of enforced reflection that they had settled for a life that was far less than what was intended for them. This will mean radical changes in terms of career and lifestyle. Further down the road they will very likely look back with gratitude to these very challenging times and be able to say in all sincerity, thank you Corona, you were the best thing that ever happened to me, and I needed you.
So while there is nothing inherently good in this virus, how might I need it just now and how might it be gifting my life?