I recently read this, “Lock-down lingo" - are you fully conversant with the new terminology?
Coronacoaster: The ups and downs of your mood during the pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one minute but suddenly facing tears and anxiety the next. It’s “an emotional coronacoaster”.
Coronadose: An overdose of bad news from consuming too much media during a time of crisis. Note: this can result in a panic-demic.
I’m also adding Coronality: The liminal space between what was and what will be that unfolds during a global pandemic lock down.
Liminality can feel like "being lost" without a map in an unfamiliar landscape. Perhaps for the first time in our generation we have been stripped of our habitual ways of living, and of the distractions that normally would have taken hold of our lives. Stepping out of what is known, comfortable, and controlled, and into this liminal space between what was, and what is emerging, is uncomfortable. It can create anxiety and stress.
It’s not new for God. In Isaiah 43:18-19, God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; Do you not perceive it?” The questions for us are: “What are we perceiving?” and “What are the practices that allow us to perceive God’s heart?” I believe we are being invited to look beyond our past experiences, and let God’s presence become new, deeper ... or both.
This “Coronality,” like all liminal spaces, invites an intentional practice of spiritual disciplines.
The disciplines are different activities we practice in order to live like Jesus lived, and to maintain a constant relationship with God. Theologian Dallas Willard says that spiritual disciplines have no value in themselves. The aim and substance of life with God is not prayer or worship or study but the full and effective enjoyment of the active love of God and humanity in our daily living. The disciplines simply put us in a place where God can act and where we can perceive God’s action.*
During this uncertain time the spiritual disciplines, especially when practiced as community, can make all the difference. We are invited to become a people who listen, able to perceive how God seeks to be faithfully present and loving in a world that has come undone, where economies are failing, where people are afraid, hungry, and lost. May the world come to experience the loving God through a people willing to start from where they were and go someplace new.
*Willard, Dallas. The Spirit of the Disciplines. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1988.
Prayer: Lord, our merciful Father, grant us, as your children, the vision to see your mighty hand at work in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic; grant us, as your faithful, the hands to serve and to love others in the midst of "new norms"; and grant us, as your dedicated servants, the hearts and minds, to continue to seek you each day in the midst of confusion in a world filled with lost, hungry, and frightening people to whom you extend your Great Light. Amen.
David and Joyce Reed International Ministries Global Coordinators of Spiritual Care Click here to read more about their ministries.