Last week, following the Coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced stock market dip, I set up an appointment with my financial advisor to make some better and more timely investments. After all, they say we should buy when stocks are low and sell when stocks are high – so, as an informed investor I didn’t want to miss out.
After my appointment, I felt proud and patted myself on the back. I also remembered that we needed onions and flour. Just like with toilet paper, store shelves were all out of flour last time I went to the store, and onions were not as easy to come by as I thought. So, I decided to go to a small grocery store nearby where I didn’t expect large crowds to flock and raid. It was a smart move because I did end up with my onions, although I would have to resort to Amazon to get some flour.
As I came out of the store, an elderly lady was also rolling her cart outside. But at this particular store, there are stairs that lead to the parking lot. As a result, she had to grab her grocery bags one at a time and go down the stairs to get to her car, which proved more challenging. I looked at her, smiled, and said, “Would you like some help with those bags?” She smiled back and said, “I sure would!” So, I took her three bags and brought them to her car. She thanked me kindly, and I was on my way.
It didn’t require much on my part to do this, but it meant a lot to her. Unbeknownst to her though, I think it did me more good than it did her. Why? Simply because it reminded me of what I should be, not just in a time of crisis, but at all times: my Heavenly Father’s son.
More than ever, The Golden Rule has never been more precious. It is so easy to become self-centered during this coronavirus crisis. When the media keeps repeating terms like ‘Social Distancing’ and ‘Avoiding Human Contact’; if we’re not careful, we can take this too far and dehumanize ourselves in the process. And yes, don’t worry, I get it… although we must still use caution, we should more than ever be salt and light.
At this time of government-imposed self-isolation, it is still a good time to be a good neighbor. It’s still okay to help out. It’s still okay to lend a hand (provided we wash them before and after).
Time to Get back to basics
There is no better time to get back to the basics of life than amidst a time of crisis and imposed self-isolation. I’ll be honest with you. When all this started unraveling, I thought to myself, “This is a good time to see how I can profit from this crisis.” That’s why I shifted my investments into stocks that had dropped. Furthermore, I also saw this as a good opportunity to recruit people in my home business. After all, I reasoned, “People are now forced to work from home, and what’s more, through my home-based business I can offer them products that are running out from the store shelves, like hand sanitizer and disinfectant for instance!”
Although these (the business and the products) can indeed help out the right individuals, I admit shamefully that my mindset was wrong. Instead of genuinely wanting to add value to people and help them, I wanted to use the crisis to profit. Sure, it is human and it would probably go unnoticed. I mean, after all, the business I partnered with and their products are fantastic and can truly help people. So, for anyone who would sign-up it would prove a win-win for me and them.
Nevertheless, I just didn’t like where I was coming from. I wasn’t coming from a place of love and genuine concern for my fellow man. All this to say that helping the elderly lady at the store brought me back from a rather nasty place. It restored my humanity and put my heart back in its rightful place. It helped me to get back to basics.
So, what are the basics we should be getting back to at this time? Well, they’re pretty simple really. I did mention The Golden Rule “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12), and that pretty much sets the tone for everything else. But here are a few more:
1- Now is a good time to get closer to God
At this time when we are told to stay home, it is a tremendous opportunity to cultivate our relationship with our Father in heaven. This is the basic of basics. I have often been at fault in falling for the snare of seeking to know about God rather than seeking to know God. Our Father is readily found right now as we are quieted down. As the noise of the outside world (provided you keep your TV shut) is shut down, we can use this as a tremendous opportunity to rekindle our relationship with Him. He is closer than ever because we are more receptive than ever. This quieting down of the hustle and bustle is a great time to hear from God for our lives. So, make a point of it. You might be surprised by what you hear from Him in the silence.
2- People won’t care how much you know before they know how much you care
That’s a fact. I’ve seen posts on social media where people act as if they have all the answers about Covid-19. They post stuff on their timeline with arrogance and contempt for others. Sure, they might have valuable information about what’s really going on, or about what the Governments of the world are really planning through this, or even about how this fits in with Bible prophecy. But the bottom line is:
”If it’s not done in love, it is utterly useless.” – Sebastien Richard
And trust me, I know where they’re coming from because I used to be an avid student of conspiracies and the New World Order Agenda. I gained tremendous knowledge in this respect, but I too failed at times to show love as I presented these covert facts.
Paul reminds us of what we lack when we try to present knowledge without love in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-2: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
3- Love your family
We lead such busy lives that we often lose sight of the most precious people in our lives: our immediate family. As a busy dad, I have gained a new appreciation for my wife and three kids during this social shut-down. I hug them more. I listen to them more. I even play with them more. I spent over an hour just yesterday playing Legos with Jason, Marissa, and Katelyn. They needed that. But you know what? So did I. And I had fun, too. Furthermore, we all joke about how couples are getting closer and how this may bring about a baby boom in nine months. That’s good too!
4- Pause, Reflect, and Reset your priorities
I am an introvert. As a result, I like to take the time to pause and reflect. This always helps me to align my life with God’s will and to find my bearings. I enjoy taking the time to look at my life, where I’m at, what’s going on, and where I’m going. Not all people are like this. For some, a time of social shut down might just mean binge-watching shows on Netflix while anguishing about the end of the world as we know it. I hope that’s not your case. I hope you’ll take this time to pause, reflect, and if necessary, reassess or even redirect your life. And most of all, I hope you’re staying in faith and not giving in to coronavirus media-induced fear at this time.
5- Keep serving God and your fellow man
It’s not because many services are halted due to the coronavirus that we should stop being serviceable. We need each other more than ever. It was selfishness that brought about the toilet paper shortages. It is selfishness that brings people to blows at Costco or Walmart. I know it can be challenging, but we must try to have a mindset that leads us to give and not to take at this time. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” ~ Matthew 5: 40-42.
In our particular context, this could mean, “If anyone needs toilet paper from you, let them have some.”
6- Realize the importance of preparation
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:3:
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” (Proverbs 22:3, NLT)
If the present crisis hasn’t taught you the importance of being prepared with adequate provisions for yourself and your family, I doubt anything will. Back in my days when studying the plans of the New World Order, I had become quite the prepper. I didn’t have an underground bunker or anything like that, but I was nonetheless ready to stay home for about three months. If anything, the Coronavirus made me realize I have become soft since then. I’m ashamed to admit that I slacked off. Don’t get me wrong, I still had a couple of weeks of prep on most people, but I was far from being Armaggeddon-ready to face long-term forced quarantine.
Folks, there is nothing wrong with having 3 to 6 months of stocked provision in case of emergency.
Being prepared doesn’t mean you have no faith in God, it means you have enough common sense to not rely on the government.
Recently, Elisabeth and I recorded a Special Edition podcast talking about how believers should conduct themselves during COVID-19 outbreak. In it, we talk quite a bit about how to prepare and what provisions you should consider. You can listen to it HERE.
Finally, as a way of getting back to basics, the Sermon on the Mount, found in the Gospel of Matthew chapters 5 to 7, has always been my guiding light. Whenever I have felt I was veering away from God’s perfect will, the words of Jesus in the sermon on the mount bring me back to basics – every single time.
I hope this blog post has blessed you and helped you to get back to basics. If so, let me know by commenting below and/or sharing with those you care about.
As always, be blessed and thrive on!