Finding Gratitude in the Midst of Crisis

April 4, 2020

Photo by Julien Riedel

 

In the last couple weeks, we’ve been faced with the reality that there is a lot we have been taking for granted. From attending class, to seeing friends, to even attending mass, a lot has been taken away from us. I doubt any of us foresaw just how much we would be asked to give up this Lent. A lot of it has been out of our control. We’ve lost our daily routines, the final classes of our school year, and for some of us, the conclusion and closure that comes with finishing a degree. Everything feels uncertain at the moment. 

 

It has also been a time where we have had to evaluate what means the most to us. We either prioritize our time to ensure we do not have to stop doing the things we love, or we realize when something has been taken away and how we will never take it for granted again. I feel like at times I have been trying so hard to keep my life as normal as it was before the virus hit Canada, only to find with frustration that this isn’t possible. I’ve realized that I’m being called to greater flexibility, and greater trust in God. I’ve noticed also that there is opportunity in this time to come closer to each other, and to come closer to the Lord. 

 

Taking time to pray is important right now to strengthen our relationship with the Lord. As Mass and the sacraments remain unavailable, we are called to greater trust in the Lord’s closeness and mercy.

 

In Kingston, where I go to school, we used to have a plethora of choice when it came to which mass to go too, and when to go to confession. It is a real gift to be able to spend more time in prayer despite having to readjust our routine in the absence of the sacraments. I encourage you to take this time to seek the Lord more through prayer. Moreover, pray with friends. Just because we cannot see each other in person, does not mean that fellowship or our sense of community dies. Reach out to others! 

 

Even though we should socially distance ourselves and stay in isolation as much as possible, that does not mean we stop communicating. From texting a friend to calling a loved one, we are lucky we live in a world where this is possible throughout this crisis. It’s become increasingly important to ask our loved ones how they are doing. Ask them what they are doing during this time to keep their life as normal as possible, heck, ask someone what they are doing to make their life as extraordinary as possible! 

 

We can also use this time to take a step back and reflect on how we can make the most of this situation. Maybe it is finally reading that book, learning that instrument, or adopting a new prayer routine you’ve always wished you had the time for. Try something new or bring life back into something that has been missing. The beauty of having the ability to slow down is we get to learn more about ourselves and each other. For me, it’s been this. Writing. I’ve never been much of a writer, and it’s been a long time since I’ve done it. 

 

Last summer, I was very overwhelmed with all the tasks I had in my life. It took sustaining a concussion in my sport to slow down, to take a step back and have a rest on the sidelines. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t difficult. But slowing down gave me a chance to truly cherish what matters most in life; namely, my relationships with family, friends, and above all, God.

 

I also found a renewed love for everything I missed out on during my concussion. This time, right now, feels like last summer. Each day, more is taken away from us, but that just means that each day we are given the opportunity to find what we value most in a time of crisis. The lessons we learn here and now are incredibly valuable for when life returns to normal.

 

For some, this period can be particularly tough as we struggle to avoid certain fixes or bad habits that occur during idleness. Try to avoid retreating into ourselves. Just know that you are not alone and that God loves you! 

 

Don’t let the bad situation win. Let’s all try to make this a time where we can look back and say we made the most of this present anxiety. A time where we learned more about ourselves, each other, and our relationship with the Lord.

 

Hold on to what you cherish, make time for the Lord, and find the extraordinary amid this reality we find ourselves in. 

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