It’s amazing how the Fear Of Missing Out has survived a pandemic. The internet is full of great ideas about cleaning everything in your house, cooking fabulous meals, getting the beach body of your life, educating your children better than Montessori, and showing up to your friends’ online concerts. It’s like we should live our best life now as people are dying around us. The pressure is still on to curate and share our idealized selves, and now the challenge is even higher: do it all in the face of death and uncertainty!!! Even if you are an essential worker!!
Truthfully I appreciate all of the ideas for thinking positively and getting stuff done and making the most of every opportunity. But I’m human. I just can’t do it all. And I don’t think we’re meant to feel badly about that.
God came to us in a human body to communicate acceptance and reframing of our “limitations.” The real opportunity in all of this tragedy might be to finally embrace what it means to be human: full of need for God to save us from the false pressure of needing to save ourselves, and full of capacity to love. If I go crazy at home trying to make a better version of a super-human right now, I will miss the joy of knowing God and being known. If I let Jesus save me from my illusions and allow myself to love him and all the people around me right now, I might be really transformed.
That’s why I love the breath prayers we’ve been practicing as a Circle of Hope. They are a moment-by-moment call to our dependence on God and the source of our power, the source of all life! The inhale is like a filling up of God’s presence and provision, the exhale is a much-needed release that puts us in need again. I love the connection in the simplest rhythms of our bodies that we are not meant to do life on our own, for our own glory. We are called to our connection with God and each other.
This week we remembered in our Sunday meeting (online, of course!) how Jesus came into the locked room where the disciples were fretting, and he breathed on them to receive the Holy Spirit. He found a way to give them his peace even though their doors were locked up by grief and anxiety. He did not require them to get better enough to even unlock the door and ask for what they needed! He knew their need and he came to them.
I believe that God is coming to us now in the same way. Where we are locked up with disappointments and worry, we can notice that he is with us. For all the things we can’t figure out how to fix right now, we might inhale his peaceful presence. It loosens the pressure of our expectation and makes room for real hope. That might be our best life always, and for real.