No matter how old I get, there is still something magical and thrilling about the appearance of a rainbow. As a student of the Bible, I know that it represents the covenant that God has with us and all future generations and God’s power and glory.
I cling to this belief in God’s power. The mass shootings, the atrocities in Ukraine, and yet most of our lives continue as if none of this is happening. It’s surreal. I feel helpless in the face of all the violence in the world.
As Christians, we choose love over hate, good over evil, and kindness over violence. We need to stay alert and aware of what is happening and be open to God’s call when it comes.
The Russian Orthodox have a saying from St. Seraphim of Sarov “acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved.”
I’ve heard expressed as “save yourself and thousands around you will be saved.” It reminds me that what we do matters. In the midst of all that is happening around us, we have to hunker down and be the peaceful spirit.
Anxiety is the most contagious emotion we have. It’s not helpful and can spread to others and cause more harm. Keeping a peaceful spirit in the midst of chaos is one way to make a difference. We need to be thoughtful, take actions that are prudent, be good citizens, work for social justice, get involved and give feedback, and do the right thing for the good of others.
But first, we have to save ourselves. I do it with the Jesus prayer. Prayer is very effective, particularly contemplative prayer to create a peaceful spirit.
We are not helpless, we are part of God’s beloved community and by saving ourselves we save each other.
For more information on anxiety, try this article: https://hbr.org/2020/03/anxiety-is-contagious-heres-how-to-contain-it