You cannot add a single hour to your life by worrying. As Corrie ten Boom put it: Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow – it empties today of strength.
I suppose we can’t be blamed for worrying about pandemics, economic uncertainty, and other un-named fears around the corner. But to become more resilient, we learn to not worry about things out of our control in favour of taking action on what is in our control. Former Stanford lecturer Nir Eyal points to the wisdom of Viktor Frankl, who survived the Holocaust, and who gives insight to how to handle both everyday stresses and pandemic-related panic:
Viktor Frankl and the Power of Perspective
“Frankl’s experience living through the Nazi death camps taught him that some people can face the greatest imaginable horrors and still keep their hope and humanity. Others crumple. What’s the difference between these two groups? The short answer is perspective.
In the face of incomprehensible evil, what difference could attitude make? As Frankl saw, a person’s outlook could literally be the difference between life and death. Those who managed to keep striving to live in the camps, he observed, were those who focused on whatever they could control, however small those things might be.
“Faced with unimaginable hardship, he had no idea how long the torment would continue. There was no guarantee of rescue, and many of his companions died of starvation, illness, or worse. What did he do differently to cope with the stress?” Eyal asks of Frankl. “He changed the focus of his attention. Frankl searched for meaning and purpose in the smallest daily actions, like caring for a friend or saving a scrap of string that might be useful later. He also found long-term meaning and purpose in the idea of survival itself.”
You can’t switch off these stressors, but you can switch your focus, and that can make all the difference…
Excerpt from article written by Jessica Stillman
Contentment & Perspective
Those who have a robust spirituality that is connected relationally with the One who made us for Himself may well know that – live or die, rich or poor, succeed or fail – we thrive in a spiritual ecosystem however decaying the pandemics may be…
Only a spiritual renewal can address the deepest need of the human soul, for when this or that pandemic, or this or that crisis comes through, as it invariably does and will, it is our spiritual connectedness that will allow us to live with gratitude or die with thankfulness.
Switch Your Focus?
As Eyal said, “You can’t switch off the stressors, but you can switch your focus, and that can make all the difference…”
What you see often depends on what you look at… what you look for, therefore,
What are you looking at? What are you looking for?
Take a moment to reflect on what you are reading, viewing, or worrying about.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to switch our focus to Jesus:
Fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The promise in scripture is that when we seek, we will find; when we ask, it will be given; and when we knock, the door will be opened to us. You need only start.
May I nudge you to switching your focus to the One who made us for Himself. He is the centre and circumference of the relationship for which we are made.