Bad Covid Attitude
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them . . . Acts 16:25
Like everyone else, I’m sick and tired of Covid-19. Way back in March, when the NCAA basketball tournament was cancelled, I was annoyed, but now, this virus just refuses to go away as I’d hoped it would. Kids are out of school, businesses are struggling, and masking has become extremely political and controversial. With the imminent election, things are downright ugly. On a personal level, the virus has radically affected my work-life, and not for the better. Change is a constant, making everything in clinic more difficult.
Understandably, with coronavirus stress, attitudes are not always positive. I know my attitude is my choice, but when I don’t consciously choose, I often allow others to choose for me. A toxic attitude unfortunately, can be infectious. Complaining and criticizing spreads like the virus itself, wreaking havoc among coworkers, making a difficult situation even more miserable. If I allow it, I can easily become a host, spreading poisonous words, thoughts, and actions to everyone around me.
The opposite it true too though. Like a toxic attitude, a gracious attitude stands out and is noticed by others. This is what happened in today’s passage. In the story, Paul and Silas had been arrested for delivering a slave girl from a spirit and interfering with her owner’s financial exploitation of her. At midnight, while sitting in jail, instead of lamenting their condition, Paul and Silas prayed and sang. Though they’d been mistreated and though they had every right to complain about their circumstances, they didn’t. Instead, they chose to pray and sing praises to God. We’re told that the other prisoners took notice of this unusual behavior.
We may not be in prison, but daily, we face the same choice. Do we allow our circumstances and coworkers to determine our attitude? Or, do we choose to remain thankful for what we have? There are a lot of things we cannot change. Our grumbling or complaining isn’t going to make Covid-19 go away any faster. If we desire, we can choose joy and peace for ourselves every day, despite difficult circumstances. Perhaps we can even make a difference in the lives of those around us as we spread love, faith, and hope, instead of anger, bitterness, and cynicism.