To Focus on What I Can Control

“I just want things to go back to normal!” This has become the common cry over the last two years. What we thought to be normal has been upended with the onset of the COVID-19 virus. Family members began working from home. School became virtual, forcing mothers to be teachers. Just going to the store to pick up a few items became an ordeal. Then we had to deal with wearing masks, social distancing and shut downs. Not to mention, side effects of the virus if it was contracted. Through all of this, patience was certainly tested.
    When faced with a hardship, being upset with the situation or with those closest to us will only result in diminishing happiness. Anger directed at things beyond our control never solves anything. It only adds more stress to an already difficult situation. As we face reverses, it is easy to focus on the negative. When we can concentrate on the good found in even the worst situations, it will generate more patience.
During the hustle-bustle of life, we need to take time to slow down and count our blessings. We can complain because the stores do not have what we need or because we have to wait so long at a restaurant. Instead, we need to be thankful we can go to the store or out to eat, remembering the dismay we felt when stores were closed. Rather than complaining or becoming impatient because the line is so long, take a minute to spread some cheer to the person next to you. It will help you both feel better.
The COVID-19 virus is still contagious and many are still waiting to fully recover after quarantine. Some are still waiting for their sense of smell and taste to return. All the while, look for reasons to be appreciative. You still have life and breath. Opportunity remains to serve God and to love and care for your family and friends.
We are reminded in the book of James to “let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Society will undoubtedly never return to what we may consider normal. Nevertheless, our character does not have to suffer. Have you found patience and grace to help you better cope with life? How about with things you have no control over? The ability to quietly and steadily preserve our character without complaint is a great asset to daily living.

As the ripple effects from this pandemic continue to touch our lives, we need to ask God for patience. We cannot change the events of the past, but we can change our outlook for the future. Placing emphasis on the importance of our spiritual man and not fretting so much about temporal things will produce patience. Hebrews 12:1 instructs to “Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.”

~A Roxbury