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Good things about the current situation

ALL SAINTS logo6th September 2020

Rev Rosie Bunn, Rector of Belton with Browston and Burgh Castle, writes:
 
There are some good things about the current situation (not many, but some!)
 
Today I went to the Doctors surgery; there was nobody in the waiting room and I was in and out in about 5 minutes. Yesterday I spoke to my grandson, Elijah, who went back to school today. He was excited at the prospect of returning; because learning is exciting and interesting! Would he have felt that way if he hadn’t missed 4½ months schooling? I suspect not. Oh, and we have made significant progress on the pool/pond project and my garden has never looked better
 
I was recently reading a book where the writer, Will van der Hart, was describing his experience of assisting the emergency teams during the London bombings, because his church and church hall were close to Edgware Road tube station. He writes about the effect this had on him. He didn’t see the devastation of the tube station but early in the day he did see a man with blackened face telling about the scene underground, and then supported some 200 fire, police and ambulance personnel providing a listening ear and food/drink as they rotated between duty and break. The support he offered alongside others came to an end after a week, but the effects upon him mounted as the weeks and months went on. He speaks about the bomb being both the tipping point and the starting point to a journey of incredible restoration. During this extremely dark time, Jesus was showing him “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9) and that weakness was not to be hidden but a place of God’s transformation for him
 
As we move more and more towards normal life, we may feel that it is time to get back to normal, and yet the virus is still around, an unseen threat to our wellbeing. Worry is a response to any potential threat, but the effects of this pandemic can mean we find ourselves worrying about things we have never worried about before, because the genuine threat (Covid-19) is lurking below the surface. We wonder why we are worrying at all, and yet we are completely unable to dismiss the sensation of anxiety that is experienced. We are hardwired to get away from threats as quickly as possible, but how do we live with this constant threat well, when it can cause other worries to seem more of a threat than they actually are
 
One of the significant things to do is learning not to run away, but to stay with the threats they perceive long enough to realise they don’t actually perceive a risk. By avoiding threats and running ….. too quickly, or suppressing the things we are afraid of we learn nothing new about our thought patterns or how we might respond differently”
 
Tackling avoidance is necessary in overcoming worry. Understanding what makes us worry helps in tackling the natural tendency to run/hide, and reduces the element of surprise that trips us up. Worry is not all negative – but some worry just steals our peace of mind and ability to enjoy life, which we can do without! Some worries are solvable – problems for which we can find a solution, and in which friends and family might be able to offer suggestions. Other worries are ones that float around and do not have answers – we feel as if we should do something but there is very little we can actually do; the worry might be about offending someone, or something that might happen in the future e.g. accident, illness, bankruptcy
 
Worry can be a symptom of generalised anxiety.  Often mental health problems are suffered in silence, but are just as real as the physical illnesses that we find easier to present to the medical profession.  Please do not suffer in silence. There are people within the church community who would be happy to listen, because they know from personal experience how important this is. Jesus taught his disciples not to worry about life; what to eat drink or wear in the passage in Matthew 6: 25-34. He said, “Don’t worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own
 
The book I have read goes on to say that these verses can act as a piece of divine CBT. Jesus is challenging us to be transformed in our response to perceived threat, and to find new and true ways to face life’s challenges. Facing the threat of an unseen enemy (Covid-19) can cause us to worry unnecessarily and so imprison us in our worries
 
I am trying to be realistic, taking all the practical measures I can to protect myself and those I care for. That’s all I can do. The rest I have to entrust to God; my God who holds my future and who is my hope. Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139: 23-24)

 

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Article printed from www.networkyarmouth.co.uk at 16:00 on 25 October 2020