Let’s be honest, this season has been a chance for the world to have a giant “reset” about what matters most. Our social media rants, our political tirades, our airing of grievances, and grudges we hold on have all been minimized when it comes to survival, community, and the need for basic human kindness.
As things begin to reopen and the world attempts to find life after COVID, there is a question I’ve been wrestling with:
What will I leave behind in the COVID season?
I asked this of our staff a few weeks ago and I was encouraged by some of the answers. Many of us are realizing the things we thought we couldn’t live without were really luxuries disguised as necessities. Many of our self-defined needs are actually just wants. The need to be active all the time, the constant racing to events, the addiction to busyness, the lack of family time… all were common before COVID…but now we are discovering how life is better without them.
I for one am surprised how life goes on without sporting events on at all times. No granted, once they return I’ll gladly watch, but my blood pressure is surely better without watching and worrying if the Lakers win.
I came across something in my rereading of a favorite book. It directed my thinking towards something I hadn’t thought about when it comes to something to leave behind: Grudges.
The author of this book quoted the late and great Eugene Peterson when he said:
“Before you can love your enemies, you have to pray your hatred.”
At first I thought he meant to type “pray for your enemies” or “pray for your hatred”, but that’s not what he said. He went on to point out that most of the Psalms are fits of anger to God about others… or even about God. For centuries now Jews and Christians alike have used these prayers to vent our frustration with God.
Maybe that’s what you need to leave behind. Part of our ability to heal and move on is to bring our anger and even our hatred to our heavenly Father.
Praying isn’t always our asking God for something. Praying is us telling God our deepest hopes, dreams and even our hatred. So what are you mad about? Who are you mad at? Get specific. Even if it’s God. And pray it to him. He can take it.