I recently attended an online talk about Spiritual Resiliency during COVID-19. One of the main questions posed was how do we foster our own resiliency and resiliency in the church during this time.
A lot of us are just feeling worn out. We thought in the beginning this pandemic would only last a few months, now it’s been six or seven (I lost track) and we’re looking at projections of another 6-28 months! We have no idea, and not knowing is making it so much harder to truly work on our resiliency.
Resiliency is essentially the believe that this is not the end, there will be more. It works in tandem with perseverance, grit, and tenacity. Keep on keeping on, in other words. In order to have resiliency, we have to have community, because that community will help us nurture hope for the future.
Ways to foster our own resiliency?
Stay realistic and imaginative at the same time. Be honest with the world and with yourself. Don’t be a total optimist and don’t be a total pessimist. Find a middle ground.
Remember experiences of past resiliency. This can be personally, this can be lives of the faithful, this can be in scripture! Where did you find the strength? What surprised you about your perseverance and grit? Who was with you on the journey?
Activate your agency in small ways. In other words, do something, even if it’s something small. Make some rituals, recognize and identify those small acts of courage that are happening right now.
Exercise your spirituality. Our spirituality can be come stagnant, especially when we’re not meeting in person for worship. This has undoubtedly been expressed in many ways these past few months. We have to name and honor how we stay connected with God, with our soul, and with our community. Then we have to practice those things. We also have to be creative with them.
Be gentle with your self, with your soul, and with others. It is counter-culture to be gentle, especially with ourselves. We have to give ourselves and others some grace.
Resiliency is what will get us through this pandemic and this time of unknown and this time of strangeness. Look to the scriptures to find resiliency there. Check out Job, or check out Joseph (the Technicolor dream coat Joseph, or even Joseph the father of Jesus), check out Paul or Peter. The Bible is full of examples of those who remained resilient, those who remained strong in the Lord in the face of so much unknown.
Let’s work together to be spiritually resilient, to raise the bar on our faith, to listen and discern the still small voice of God in the cacophony of noise we’re currently stuck listening to.