It took me 40 minutes to get through the checkout line at the grocery store on Friday. It was day two ,of the Coronavirus shutdown and the checkout line traveled down the grocery aisle to the back of the store. I could hear Trump’s state of emergency declaration on a neighboring cell phone. It was wild. It was wacky. It was crazy and today I feel compelled to share my path to peace and compassion in the midst of crazy.
The doorbell rang Friday night January 31st at 8:30. It startled me. In the 15 years I’ve lived in this house I can remember the doorbell ringing less than 5 times. Nobody rings the doorbell. To be honest, I didn’t think it worked.
It turned out to be an inflexion moment in time. Shooing the dogs away from the door I opened it to a women holding a flashlight. She asked for me by name. When I replied that I was he. She said “You’ve been served” and handed me an envelope packet.
Inside was a document titled “Proof of summons” from the office of Allison F Zimmerman. My wife of almost 10 years wanted a divorce.
My how things change
Six weeks later this event seems far less significant. The United states and the entire world is in a State of emergency due to Coronavirus pandemic. It s a state of panic. We’re in lock down mode and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
It’s always crazy
Sometimes it seems the world goes a little crazy. Actually, its in a state of crazy all the time. It’s the intensity that shifts. When was the last time you saw or heard of a rush on toilet paper!
In my 60 years on the planet I’ve experienced many inflection moments. However, Its only been the past ten years where I’ve had a new path to follow. The path is new to me but not new to others.
It’s a path to personal peace that allows me to experience and share love and joy in the midst of crisis. In many ways it’s every man’s journey.
I was all set to continue the blog series on Millennial’s but, after the events of this week I felt compelled to share differently. I’ve been looking for the time to share this experience for some time now. Today is the day..
My first divorce, you’d think I’d learn my lesson, was in 2005 and it was, to put it mildly, “Hellacious“, It was an experience that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. My heart was shredded and the legal process was a bloodbath. This was and is easily the most trying crisis of my life. My Recovery, mentally, physically, emotionally and financially continues to this day.
One door closes, another opens.
Six years later, I was shown a path that I didn’t know existed. I found my missing ingredient and it changed everything. Up until then I didn’t know I was missing anything.
I was floundering around, wrestling with my shortcomings and the shortcomings of everyone else around me. I was suffering through it to the best of my ability. Which wasn’t much. My recovery was slow because I didn’t know what I needed to learn.
In July of 2010, I experienced the first in a remarkable series of events. Where my life took a turn, in an entirely new direction. The results was the greatest transformation experience in my life.
Unbeknownst to me I had been tracking on this path for some time. Over the next two years, from 2010-2012, events continued to pile up on each other along this path.
At some point, and it wasn’t a specific day, I began to recognized God’s work. It wasn’t so much that I said “Oh my God, There is a God” because my experience was not a blinding flash. My experience was a consistent, connected series of events that I found to be undeniable.
I fully realized the power of God when I found myself, for the first time in my life, at peace with with all the crazy events I routinely experienced.
Peace is amazing
The world didn’t change. Life continued to throw it’s curve balls. And yes, I still occasionally swung at pitches in the dirt. I still do to this day. I was the one who changed or … you could say, God changed me. And the reason he was so effective is because he delivered peace.
People don’t change just for change sake. At least I don’t. People change for a benefit. Either the pain goes away or the gain is valuable. In this case it, for me, it was both. The pain of failure melted away and was replaced with peace.
Today, I believe that adversity is God’s way of teaching me a lesson. The lessons of the father teaching his children how to live in this crazy world. And I am at peace with the lessons because God forgives. The lessons and experiences are not the end. They just are…. Up until this sequence of experiences I had never known what peace really was.
God’s love never fails
I found a never-ending, never failing, relationship with God. And in that relationship I realized a sense of peace and calming that will never be lost because God’s love never fails. In Jesus I have a path with purpose and a life that I never expected.
The divorce experience I’m going through today is not like the last one. True, it’s my second time around and I have some hard learned lessons from experience, but more importantly, I am not alone. God is with me. I didn’t have that understanding back in 2005
10 years ago we experienced the great recession. 19 years ago the world trade center was attacked. Black Monday was in 1987. These are recent calamities of epic proportion. The world stopped, and shifted, and recovered.
The Coronavirus crisis is not the first global crisis humanity has faced. It’s just the one we’re experiencing right now. It may seem like the world is falling and has literally gone nuts. So, yes it really is crazy out there. We are once again at an inflection point in time.
This is certainly not the first and it won’t be the last epic shift. It is another instance in time where life will change for a great many. This too shall pass. In time the new normal will arrive.
Clarity is hard to come by in moments of panic but you can be 100% clear that God’s love never fails, but his clarity is real and has not changed from the beginning of time.
Look to god for peace. Pray for those you love and all the others affected by this crisis. Many will feel and experience significant adversity. Now is the time for love and compassion.
Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Take time for self care. Give yourself the gift of love and connect with our creator. Pray to God to manage your heart, mind and soul so that you can be the best you can be because the world needs all of us at our best. Our god is for us. No one can stand against us. Together with God’s love we persevere.
Whatever happens, happens. It may be beyond our control, as so many things are, but it is not beyond God’s control.
Love and blessings to all.
PS: Read what CS Lewis has to say about Coronavirus: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/cs-lewis-coronavirus/
PPS: I’m in another time of transition. I never thought I would be single at 60. Message me below if you’re interested in further episodes on my journey to peace. I’m writing and scripting a new “Single at 60, Every man’s journey to peace” blog. I’ll add you to my subscription list and send you the releases. My goal is one per week.