It’s easy to have a victim mentality these days. A victim of the corona virus. A victim of the partisan system. At the mercy of the economy . Waiting for promised unemployment and stimulus checks. Trapped at home, behind a mask, away from loved ones. Waiting for God to answer prayers and put everything back to the way it was! Life can feel out of control as we wait for the boogeyman to knock on our door. It’s just a matter of time.
What a bleak picture!
Don’t fall for it!
If you are a Christian, as I am, you may be confused about your part in your own success. In my faith tradition, I’ve was told that I can’t do anything in my own power. Be still and wait upon the Lord. But being “still” is not synonymous with being motionless in God’s dictionary. It is about pursuing knowledge and wisdom, trusting God to bring you victory, and taking action.
In the biblical account of David and Goliath, David didn’t stop and pray for God to throw a lightning bolt to strike the giant! Remembering all the times God had given him victory over the lion and the bear, he “ran quickly toward the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:48 GNT). While Saul and his army wrung their hands in fear, David took bold action and defeated the enemy.
While we cannot control the appearance of a new and highly contagious virus. our overall health and financial stability are greatly influenced by our own decisions and actions.
Here are three things we can do right now to improve our chances of weathering this crisis and moving beyond it:
1. Follow all infection control protocols recommended by the CDC and other experts.
These can make a difference in whether you contract the virus. New York conducted a survey to compare the infection rate of first responders to the general population. In Westchester, 6.8% of healthcare workers tested positive for antibodies as opposed to 13.8 percent of the general public. On Long Island, 11.1 percent of healthcare workers tested positive as opposed to 11.4 percent of the general population. Since first responders are at greater risk of exposure to corona virus, it would seem that the infection control procedures they follow make a difference in infection rates. Erin Bromage, PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, wrote a very good article about avoiding the risk of contamination. It’s linked here.
2. Improve your overall health.
Don’t use this pandemic as an excuse to eat junk food and drink too much. Don’t spend all your time on the couch surfing Netflix. Get up and move. According to an article in the May 2020 edition of the AARP Bulletin, “skeletal muscle is a major immune regulatory organ that generates anti-inflammatory and immunoprotective proteins.” Our last post listed other ways to improve your health and reduce inflammation. Make a commitment to habits that make you strong.
3. Develop a financial plan.
There is a reason why experts have long advised us to save for a rainy day. The common advice is to put aside 3-6 months of living expenses. Think how that could have impacted our families and our nation in this crisis. We’ve had a million reasons why we couldn’t do this. Our plan was to go to work everyday and be paid for that work in time to meet the bills. Now we know that’s not always going to work out. It’s been a painful lesson.
Now that our eyes are open, what can we do to prepare for the next setback? Financial guru, Dave Ramsey, has some good advice on saving money, getting out of debt, and becoming financially stable. As a start, you might read his book or visit his website.
You are not a victim of outside forces. You cannot always control your circumstance, but you can control your response to those circumstances. Trust God and take personal responsibility for your life. Like David, remember the goodness of God and don’t hang back in fear. Run toward the giant!