Be Aware of Those Emotional Swings

Charles Dickens wrote perhaps the most memorable opening words to a story ever.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…

Even the title of the book, A Tale of Two Cities.

Like all great writers, Dickens captured eternal thoughts. Don’t these couple of months seem we’ve experienced both wisdom and foolishness? Both hope and despair?

Several people I have had great respect for through listening to their podcasts and reading their blogs and books have written about the despair they have these past few weeks.

On the other hand, I read Peter Diamandis who recently talked about all the reasons for optimism. People around the entire globe are facing the same crisis. Despite political posturing, even Presidents Xi and Trump are overseeing administrations helping each other. The global scientific community is sharing data and ideas like never before. There is a season of hope amongst the season of despair.

Even as the global Christian community is gathering virtually to celebrate the high point of the Holy Calendar, there is hope in the midst of worry and cynicism. (The cynics would say that the reason fundamentalist pastors are posturing to rebel against social distancing has more to do with the large Easter offering anticipated—but I digress.)

As our emotions swing between the poles described by Dickens, we need more than ever to turn to our spiritual practices:

  • Seek quiet time
  • Use the time for reflection to become aware of our emotions and temper them with reality
  • Seek infusion of the spirit of God to make us strong
  • Focus on some aspect of serving others

We can choose our responses. As the Last Crusader told Indiana Jones as he was selecting the Chalice, “Choose wisely.”

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