NOTE: Available in video here.
This Corona Virus has had a consequential impact on all of us. I don’t need to reiterate how it has impacted you—you’re only too well aware of that. But it does seem like a good time for a reminder to us all that the whole of life is a series of hills and valleys.
Sometimes we’re up, scaling mountains because things are going so well, and sometimes we’re down, tromping through sludge in the valleys. That is the nature of life.
For the most part, we deal with the joys, triumphs and successes just fine. Well, aside from the occasional terror of success where we wonder if it was a mistake, if we can do what we did again—the normal fears.
But when we’re down in those valleys, often we don’t know exactly how we got down there, though in the case of Corona, we know only too well. So that isn’t the big question to address here. What is the big question?
How do we get up?
Instinctively, we know we do not want to stay down. We want to scale and soar, yet how exactly do we go about making that happen?
The truth is, like a lot of other situations we face, the process begins in your mind. Your attitude. Your perspective, which is to say, it’s how you see things.
These days, too many try to tell you what to think. What they’re really doing is manipulating your mind and outlook so that you think what they want you think. The challenge is you’re a unique individual, and because you are, you will never be content allowing another—any other—to think for you. You must think for yourself.
And you should. Because you will rise or fall based on your choices and your actions. With that in mind, those actions should be based on what you think is best and right and wise.
That doesn’t mean anyone shouldn’t seek advice or wisdom on a matter. Actually, we’re instructed to seek knowledge. So seek it, but also assess the value of the knowledge you receive.
What is right for one well might not be right for another. It’s up to you to weigh your situation, seek your knowledge, assess it, and then act on it.
That requires a clear head. A positive mindset. An “I can do this” attitude. You’re capable of all that, of course. Oh, you might need to turn off the voices in your life that are focusing on “doom and gloom.” That could be news, social media, or some negative individuals in your inner circle.
You know who and what those doom-triggers are, and you know innately that doom and gloom is destructive to people trying to be constructive.
I’m not advocating sticking your head in the sand. I am advocating that you discern what is essential to know because it is important and you recalling that bad news sells, good news doesn’t.
In other words, when you take in outside information, ask yourself if it is presented in a clear, logical and reasonable way or if it is being manipulated to keep its own ratings high and to manipulate you into thinking what it wants you to think. Whether to keep you down or because others are down and want your company, so they don’t feel badly about themselves and their choices or actions.
Because either, or “facts” presented for an entirely different reason that has everything to do with something else and nothing to do with you personally, can be the case. This is why each of us must put news reports or advice through the paces. Test it. That testing will expose the wisdom in going directly to the source for your information.
Let me share an example. While watching a briefing, it occurred to me that while the President was putting out guidelines, some Governors were issuing mandates and arresting people who violated them. Let me get a little more specific…
One Governor ordered the arrest of citizens on the street in front of a beach because they “violated the stay home order.” This same Governor had just released a group of convicted prisoners from prison, including some who had committed sexual assault crimes. Does that seem logical to you?
In another state, an individual who reopened his business was arrested for violating the state mandate to stay closed. The business owner sued and won. I wanted to know how and why.
The media talking heads (pundits) had a field day but failed to answer the how-and-why questions. And to be honest, listening to them, I thought, surely the world was coming to an end. So, I turned them off—and sought knowledge at its source. If you want to know law, there’s no better place to start than the justice.gov website. Sure enough, the law on these matters were addressed. What to know what the president said and did? Go to the wh.gov website. Presidential actions and remarks are listed there. Read the documents and you will know precisely what was said and done. Why settle for a third-party interpretation when you can hear it direct?
I got my answers, and with my mind at ease, I went about my day. Yet something significant had changed: my perspective. Why? Because I discovered that the world was not coming to an end—and that there was far too much doom-and-gloom talk, much of it substantially inaccurate, by the “talking heads.”
The big takeaway was the lesson of going directly to the source for “just the facts” rather than listening to others’ opinions which are by nature subjective. Even one trying valiantly to be objective is human and therefore subjective. Unfortunately, right now there are too many pushing agendas of their own and they have little to do with facts or truth but plenty to do with manipulating others to achieve a desired outcome for purposes far removed from fact, truth or greater good.
That lesson had been learned long ago on spiritual matters. The Bible is the ultimate Source on those, but I had failed to relate—largely because of the passage about rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s—legal matters to the Bible. Silly me. Of course, they’re covered. Much in and of our laws are seated there.
The point is, good lessons come from even significant tragedies. Truths are revealed. It’s up to us to discover them, and we can’t always believe what we are told by even the most expert in the fields. We can discover on our own, by giving less weigh to opinions and experts, and seeking the source information ourselves.
During this challenge, I’ve learned an enormous amount about viruses, read clinical trials and studies, anecdotal evidence, examined the histories of experts and found motivations for their opinions; some good, some not so good.
The Bible instructs us to seek knowledge. If confronted with a challenge or an opportunity, we should do that first. Not only for the current challenge or opportunity, but because both tend to build on prior experiences and expand our knowledge base.
They prepare the path before us. The knowledge and insight we gain builds a foundation upon which we build—and continue to build our entire lives. Those insights and experiences give us notice, like an advance warning system. “Heads up, there’s an opportunity in this or that!” An inner alarm that signals us falsehoods or spin is being served to us as truth.
Bottom line, in seeking, we see patterns of what works out well and what doesn’t. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Experience is history, and the amazing thing is our available source isn’t limited to our personal history. We gain knowledge and insight from all of history.
So, if you’re overly worried or fearful of this virus, ask yourself why. Are you fearful because of the facts, or from the opinions of those selling you on doom and gloom? On those whose expert opinions change with the wind direction based on things like patents and money and achieving a desired outcome and not on the disease or the historical facts surrounding that disease or therapeutic or treatment?
If you aren’t sure, follow the advice in the ultimate Source—the Bible. Seek knowledge. When you do, you will develop discernment and gain wisdom. You will expand your knowledge base and know the answer based on facts and not suppositions or manipulations. And this holds true for whatever situation has you perplexed. Look at the actions, the testimony under oath, the revelations of evidence and not what is said about those things. Go to the source. In doing so, you have confidence in what you know to be true. Then, exercising your discernment and your wisdom, you determine what is good and right.
That confidence in your findings, your expanded knowledge base and your knowing fairness was applied are but a few of the gifts that come with seeking the truth in the Source.
Coming 10/6: Mistletoe and Murder Collection of Christian Suspense. Learn more…