Who knew so much our our life would have to be shifted this year in 2020? “If God is for us who can be against us” – Romans 8:31
If God is for me, how can this year be against me with all its changes? Romans 8:31 says it right. 2020 is truly a year of shifting focus. I can remember February 2020 feeling so overwhelmed thinking when will all this busyness end? I was so focused on getting all my work done, taking care of my home, and being there for loved ones. I couldn’t wait for a break then poof everything changed. Life as we know it came to a halt. What we thought was work, home, and leisure in our lives all got morphed into one. Like the blink of an eye, we were quarantined. We were forced into maneuvering a reality that home was the safest place to be in some cases.
All of these crazy measures were done to avoid being exposed to the Coronavirus. During this time, people started to stockpile home goods and supplies at the start of the pandemic. Then, the focus was now on PPE (personal protective equipment) and avoiding exposure. The crazy part is some didn’t believe the Coronavirus even existed, or that it was as deadly as it was portrayed on the news. Others had a focus on not being able to loose their “freedoms.” All in all, the Coronavirus Pandemic Quarantine has gone on and been shifting gears ever since. The Coronavirus or better known as Covid, has been increasing and decreasing numbers all over the world.
We are now in Fall 2020 approaching the end of the year and the holidays. It is flu season ironically, and people are having a hard time figuring out what exactly we should be focusing on. There is a hopeful outlook with the treatments for the virus but definitely no projections of getting rid of it. Some countries and states in the US have reopened have plans that vary if there can be prequarantine activities available. However, the landscape of our communities, family, society, and economy have changed.
Now shifting focus is all I keep thinking about like using a microscope or telescope “scope” meaning to look at carefully. With a scope it has to be shifted to focus on whatever the viewer wants to see. We all have a very different focus during this time. My focus keeps shifting and I am trying to finding a happy medium between embracing the good and understanding the bad as well. I have not been having an easy time but am still choosing to focus on living a positive life in unsure times. I’ve experienced the loss of multiple loved ones due to Covid and to other difficulties and have changed what was once my closest loved ones and friends to a few select people who I can truly trust.
Imagine all the different families and businesses struggling to find a focus and a balance, too. Marriages and relationships struggle as there are not many outlets of release from the daily life. Businesses and schools have to close or have limited hours making the daily grind of working and business hours almost unrecognizable. What is the real difference between work and play? Each individual’s focus keeps shifting. It started with the concern for safety of yourself or family, freedom, money/economy and eventually will society even survive this?
We are still here but our priorities have changed, at least mine has. My family and friends have become really evident to me. Who would need my love, devotion, and protection during these trying times? Sure extended family members, church family, buddies, and coworkers are good but are any of them actually considered my immediate family that I would be urged to quarantine with? Or would run the risk of seeing during this pandemic? I realized very quickly most were not. Most of them I did not need to make sure they are ok or try to save bulk supplies for. They have become merely more like extensions to my life that accentuate it. I am grateful for all of them but they were not my primary responsibility or concern as they may have been before.
The Coronavirus pandemic experience for me started with distant stories of people in other states getting the virus or people that I did not know first hand getting it. Other states like New York or upper CA had high numbers of deaths and infection. The numbers kept increasing and increasing stiffly in LA County where I reside. Everyday, all I could do was watch the news and communicate with my loved ones about updates. Repeatedly, we would talk to each other to discuss someone we knew with the virus and if they actually survived it. We would also talk about the latest updates of the symptoms, infection rate, and the progress for a cure or vaccination, that which is still looming at the end of 2020.
Furthermore, there has been fluctuations in numbers of the Coronavirus all over the world of it increasing then decreasing, then increasing again this year. Then, it got closer and touched my family directly. A family member contracted the virus and actually died from it at an early age. It was devastating and everyone is still reeling from the loss. Tragedy strikes again and a good friend of mine even lost their mother to the virus. Then, as as I got used to the presence of the virus but was not living in fear because I put my faith in God my grandma, my last living grandparent was stuck with the virus and perished as well. It all happened so fast and it was like here today and gone tomorrow. Within one week of her diagnosis, she was gone. It began to set in for me. There was no going back to the life once lived before this virus, life has been forever changed in the families of many.
All I could think was about shifting my focus again. I just could not be stuck focusing on the fear, pain, and hurt of losing someone again and so suddenly. But shifting to what? I am trying to shift to TRULY believing in God. To practice what I preach as it is often said. To believe in God and his strength in us that can allow us to overcome anything!! I have had a lot of personal tragedy both internal and external but I refuse to give up. My smile will not be hidden behind the clouds. Often on a rainy or cloudy day all feels lost because there is no sunshine in sight. But then the next day, out comes the sun and we forget the rain was ever even there. We bask in the light.
“No longer will you have the sun for the light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; But you will have the Lord for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory.”
We may remember the rain and prepare for it on other days but none of it matters on the sunny days. I want to remember who God is and bask in his light while it can be found. On rainy days, I can also recall what it felt like to bask in the sun and let it take my mind away from the current situations of hurt in front of me. So during this pandemic we can chose to focus. The focus can be on fear or it can be on courage. Which do you chose? We still have no idea what’s to come even for this last month of the year. Or what will happen in 2021? But we can make a plan to brace for what is to come. We get a new chance each morning to start over and start each day anew. We don’t forget what happened the day before but we can bask in the newness of the day that God granted us. There is some good to come along with the bad, what will you chose to focus on?
“His mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness.
– Lamentations 3:23