Not long ago, we got an Alexa Dot as a gift. My 5 year old and 4 year old LOVE shouting out commands:
“Alexa, play Let it Go from Frozen!” (Sadly, I know all the words now)
“Alexa, play Hot Wheels music!” (I have no idea what that is, but she comes up with something)
“Alexa, play Run, Run Rudolf!” (They don’t care that it’s March. They want Christmas music!)
Often it gets to the point where I have to unplug Alexa because my wife and I cannot have a conversation. My kids are sad, but it is the only way I can get enough peace to talk to my wife!
Anxiety can be like that. The news stories, feelings of concern, and the narratives we tell ourselves can be so loud it keeps us from hearing anything else. I don’t know about you, but that is how I feel about all the chatter about Coronavirus. It’s all the news is talking about. It’s all my family and friends are texting about. It’s nearly every post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes those messages are so loud and so frequent, I find it difficult to find peace.
Like Alexa, maybe we need to unplug so we can get some peace. In Philippians 4:6-7 Paul exhorts us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This passage says “Do not be anxious about anything…” Essentially, Paul is saying ‘hit the pause button’ or ‘unplug from all those stories.’ I am not saying bury your head in the sand or ignore the news. You need to stay up to date. But, we also need to give space to our minds/hearts to God.
How do we do that?
The passage continues this way: “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).
Would you take a few moments today, this week, this pan-epidemic to think about what is true in your life… what is honorable and just… what is pure and lovely… what is commendable and excellent… Is there anything in your life for which you can praise God? Let your mind think about these things.
“Alexa, play some worship music!”