As we shuffle our way into week #6 of isolation, self-distancing, and tragic news every hour, I’m occasionally tempted to freak out. Positive self-talk helps me. Especially this ancient advice from Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi. He told the folks to calm their anxiety by Thinking on These Things:

Whatever is true : We have survived pandemics before, without the fantastic scientists, medications, and technology we have today. We will find a vaccine.

Whatever is honorable: Firstliners. Everywhere. Take a cue from Mr. Roger’s mother and look for the helpers in your neighborhood. They are doing a zillion things to keep us going. They deserve honor and applause. Which we are giving.

Whatever is right: Staying home. When the walls start to move in like the garbage compactor scene in Star Wars, remember that we are saving lives by sitting on our sofas. We can do this.

Whatever is pure: New babies. So many are being born strong and healthy. They won’t know how our hearts ached to hold them for weeks and months. They will just feel the love when we finally get together.

Whatever is lovely: Spring! Find it in your neck of the woods, whether that means a safe-distanced walk in the park or a glimpse of green lawn from your apartment window.

Whatever is of good repute: Good reputations are not abundant among our news anchors or social media gurus.  Look for someone who has a reputation for serving people. Preferably someone you actually know. Listen to them.

Anything excellent and worthy of praise: You know this one. It’s God. He is actually the answer to all the above. His spirit alive in us is the only reason any of us can do good things or have good traits. When I’m tempted to freak out in these hard days, I think about God, and everything else settles into place.

How about you? How are you doing?