I thought I was patient. I really did. Oh, and add selfless and extremely kind too.
After all I even got an award for servant leadership in my college days.
But this thing called lockdown ehn! Darn it for coming to spoil my good record! This lockdown has been like a freshly purchased mirror; for each time you pass by it, you feel like your reflection becomes clearer and clearer, and you see more and more things…more than you’d like to see...
Have you found yourself becoming more aware of stuff you didn’t realize about yourself, during the lockdown (or restrictions some call it)? I have. Infact I still am.
Like how less patient I am with my loved ones than I am with strangers.
Like how not-so-selfless I can be when taking the last two biscuits in the tin because I’m tired of “sacrificing” for everyone.
Or finding that your voice is shouting and you can’t find where the control button is.
Or remembering how bad you’ve been to your colleague, or family member.
Or seeing just how too much self-love you have when you’ve been thinking more of yourself than of others during the pandemic.
Guess what? All those “strange” emotions have always been there. They just needed the right atmosphere, the right amount of time and tension to bring them to the surface. So Bam! Lockdown enters the scene with all her unforeseen baggage:
Isolation, space confinement, disappearance of personal space,
Spending on a very tight budget or not spending at all,
Kids on an endless house-holiday spree, while home-schooling them on subjects you refuse to admit you didn’t even pass in school.
Working from home and yet you’re working double shifts, still in your pyjamas. And extra work load came with pay cut.
The scenarios are endless, and to put the icing on the cake, the TV and phones are awash with wave upon wave of bad news.
Well, it’s not long before your overstressed emotional dam breaks and out pours all your suppressed or unaddressed emotions. Have you seen a broken dam? The force of the gushing water is forceful and water is everywhere.
So what is our life Lesson 2?:
LIFE is so busy we often (intentionally or not), forget to address issues and emotions. That is until something like this unexpected lockdown which confines us to limited space, temporarily relieves us of work, and the busyness becomes quieted down, giving us enough time to begin to become aware of what is happening much deeper inside us.
I NEED THE HOLY SPIRIT EVEN MORE!
If you’re like me, this lockdown may make you aware of parts of you that you are not aware of; and they are mostly not nice parts.
Lockdown has opened my eyes to how much (I mean little) of the fruit of the Spirit I perceive I have, how much the Holy Spirit really helps us, and how far I still need to go.
So, I am gaining more knowledge about myself. But you see, gaining knowledge is one thing, knowing what to do with it is the second thing, and actually DOING something about is the third.
So, I went to God in prayer. And thank God for His mercy, and patience and kindness, and for His Word which is a better mirror than my lockdown one.
Through God’s Word and through the power of the Holy Spirit, I don’t just see what I am and the things I don’t like, but I also see what I CAN become, and I see a Father full of grace to empower me to be more and more like Him.
Are you like me coming face to face with inner “things” you didn’t know existed about yourself that you are not proud of? Don’t be discouraged. GOD saw the lockdown and all its emotional complexities long before we did, and He has more than enough grace to shower on you to come out of this season a better version of yourself in Christ.
Ask Him for Grace. Ask Him to show you the areas you need to deal with, and HOW to deal with them. And if you need to carry out some emotionally-lifting practical stuff like calling that friend or colleague, or making peace with that brother or sister, or apologizing to that spouse, or even settling with yourself that your kids are great just the way they are (even if they just scribbled crayons on the wall..., then do so.
And remember that whenever you have reached your lowest ebb and discover yet more of this “hidden you”, be encouraged. The Holy Spirit is always there to help you-not condemn you- because His word says to us what He also said to Paul in his own low times; He says that “…My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness….” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Aha! I hear my daughter calling my name- I mean screaming my name- for the umpteenth time
I have taken a deep breathe, asked the Holy Spirit for a good dose of patience, and I’m walking out my door to meet her, muttering under my breath the famous words of Master Shifu from Kungfu Panda - “Inner peace. Inner peace. Inner peace”.
[What have you discover about yourself in this lockdown and how have you addressed it With God? Do share with us].
Lesson 3 coming up...