I’m tired. I bet you are too. I know my wife is, I know my friends are, I know every frontline worker is. There are times throughout this pandemic that I have said or heard someone else say, “I wish this had never happened,” or “I wish we could just go back to normal,” or “Why did this have to happen now?”
Recently when I was thinking this way again, a friend of mine, Adam Hendrickson (you might know him), quoted a movie to me. He quoted The Lord of the Rings to me and I attached the video below so you can see the scene in question.
Frodo, who has been given the ring of power in order to destroy it, is on a journey into the heart of evil. At a particularly low part of his journey, he says to his wizard friend Gandalf, “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf responds, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
It was a much-needed reminder to me that there are things in my control and many, many, more things out of my control. All I can do is worry about what I can control, what I can do with the time I’ve been given in the circumstances that I am in.
I need to switch my focus from what is happening “to me”: a loss of seeing people in person, hugging friends, going out, loss of mission trips and celebrating graduations, of going to camp, and more… and instead focus on what I can still do: call people, beautify my neighborhood on walks, write letters, give my time to help pick up food for others, and much more!
When we switch our focus in this way, suddenly we can see that there is so much that can still be done. Let’s spend our energy on bringing light instead of mourning because of how dark it is.
And so, friends, today I challenge you to shift your focus, away from that which you cannot control, away from the grief about the circumstances we’ve been dealt, and towards what we can do with our time, what we can do in the place that we are.