Lately we have been hearing and learning a great deal about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Many people are making their own face masks and hand sanitizer. We are taking great precautions for our own safety and that of others.
One of those precautions is to shelter-in-place. Many folks are stuck at home with children that are out of school and adults that are temporarily laid-off. Stress levels can get high and we may experience overwhelming fear and a weakening of our spiritual health. Our spiritual health affects our bodily health.
You may have heard stories of people recovering from dire health circumstances because they had a positive attitude. I had an aunt that we always thought St. Peter would have to knock in the head to take her to heaven, because she was so mean she wouldn’t go on her own.
It can be difficult to recognize when we fall off into fear and depression. Spiritual illness nearly always grows unnoticed, until we are so spiritually weak we can’t figure out how to get out of it, or we may begin to feel comfortable with it. I have known people with such low self-esteem they would sabotage themselves when things were going well for them.
What kind of PPE do we have available for spiritual health? The Apostle Peter wrote in his Second Letter, “… make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, kindness; and to kindness, love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV)
Notice the word, “effort”. There is work involved in developing this PPE. It requires focus and intention. If we want to be “more like Jesus”, we have to sacrifice the effort necessary to develop and deepen these qualities. Peter goes on in the next 2 verses to say these qualities will “keep you from being ineffective and unproductive” in your faith.
It may seem difficult to be productive during this corona virus stay-in. One thing we can do more of is practice building on the qualities Peter recommends. If your spiritual health is weak, it will be more difficult for you to focus on spiritual things. It will take a very intentional approach. There are many daily devotionals available on-line. Many churches are live-streaming Services. Study groups are meeting in Zoom. These and many other tools are available to kick-start your renewed spiritual journey.
Time, if improperly allocated, can be our worst enemy. Or, it can be a blessed bounty of opportunity. Work on your Spiritual PPE and when it is safe to meet in groups, get back to church fired-up and ready with a new spiritual outlook. Stay in, stay safe, stay connected, and be blessed.
Blessings and Peace to You All,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. St. Andrew's worship service is at 10 a.m., every Sunday, and broadcast on KWXC 88.9 FM at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.