The need to feel in control usually comes in times of chaos. We cling to things that we can have power over to offset the helplessness we feel elsewhere. I know ever since Blair’s diagnosis I have felt it. And with the current state of the world, it seems to have magnified. The need to find things we can control – do you ever feel that? These days I have found great comfort in home projects. Something to keep my hands and my mind busy. Something I can control.
I also came across these words from C.S. Lewis in 1948 that brought a bit of comfort…
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors – anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things – praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pit and a game of darts – not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
If you need permission to put down the weight of the world, consider this it. We were not made to carry all of the problems of the world with us through our days. We have all of the information we could ever want at our fingertips, but yet we feel more depleted than ever. If it’s heavy, put it down. Put it down and soak in the good that surrounds you. Soak in your blessings and your people. You are allowed to still find joy in your days. And if you feel the need to do something, let it be prayer. I often feel helpless these days, but it is then that I remember the one thing I can do. One thing I have control over.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend of peace and comfort. All the love to you and yours.