I went to Target today. I was anxious as I walked in and felt the need to hurry. The “stay at home” order has started. But I needed some groceries, so I went early in hopes of finding a few things. The parking lot was still quite full, and people were quietly doing their shopping. It was just another reminder of how many things have changed these last few weeks. Sadly, it seemed a little less friendly than usual. Employees were great, but the customers were stressed. Racing from aisle to aisle in hopes of finding what they need. Of course, many of the shelves were empty, leaving shoppers in frustration as they intensely seek apparent essentials such as toilet paper and cleaning wipes. I exited the store as quickly as I entered it and thoroughly disinfected my hands on the way ou
Later that day as I was talking to my mom I was struck by something she said. She is in her late 70’s and although healthy, she automatically falls in the high-risk category. She is wisely keeping to herself, taking lots of walks and spending lots of time on the phone to ensure she social distances well.
I asked her, as I do every day, how she was feeling, and this was her response. “You know I really have everything I need; I have food and a warm house and people who love me. And really that’s all I need.”
I could not help but think about how different that felt from my experience in the store earlier that day. Truthfully, she has everything she already needs. Nothing from those shelves, whether well-stocked or empty, was really going to change my, or her life dramatically. One could argue that toilet paper is a necessity, but we are fortunate enough to live in a place that is always well stocked and most of the time I can get whatever I’m looking for .
When we put it in perspective, what do we really need? All the things that we spend time and energy pursuing, are not the things we need when life gets difficult. The things we lean on are our people and relationships, not toilet paper! Really what we need is to feel safe and loved. That is truly what we need. And luckily that was what my mom was able to verbalize today.
Now of course toilet paper and wipes are definitely something we will want in the house. But it is good for us to be reminded that they are not essentials for our happiness or survival. It is good for us to be reminded of what truly matters. So in this uncertainty that has come up with a bit of frenzy, remind yourself today what truly matters to you.
Make a note of 20 things you are grateful for
Take a few minutes to write down the important people in your life and make sure you are checking in with them.
Take a few more minutes to pray for those who may not have relationship of encouragement or support