The COVID-19 pandemic has been a topic of several of my previous blogs over the past few months and an article by Peggy Noonan in today’s WSJ caused me to stop and ask myself some questions.

And the answers were a bit disturbing since on a first glance they seemed to fly in the face of the guidance and direction I’ve been embracing and following. So, I’m writing this blog to shed some light of inquiry on what’s going on in my head at the risk of disappointing one or two of you who might be wrapped in an illusion of me that holds no room for any of this.

Like many of you, perhaps most, I’ve developed and maintained a very cautious and “present” awareness of all the recommended precautions and practices to best protect myself and others from contact or spread of this non-living virus that has been causing so much life-threatening illness and death all over our world. And more specifically, right here in the state of Florida.

When this virus first took hold back in March, I took the advice of our spiritual minister and very quickly adopted the practice of limiting my viewing of TV and news media about the pandemic to an hour or less a day. And that freed up time for other projects and activities that supported a feeling of more balance and peacefulness, all the while holding healing and some kind of good coming out of this experience. I’ve been able to move forward with completing a second booklet, preparing it for turnover to the publisher while developing the manuscript for the third booklet. My wife and I both have found a rhythm to our days that allow each of us to spend time as we choose, making time for “us time” as well as for periods of solitude. All supported by regular daily morning prayer and meditation and time for contemplation, a key part of my day, since it’s during these times that I receive direct spiritual guidance, and I think this is true for my wife as well.

These past most recent three months have been perhaps the most peaceful and blessed months I can recall in a long time. Have there been moments of self-correction when I’ve been triggered by life around me? Yes, but always experienced as an opportunity to shift and realign with my Higher self.

And very recently it appears that our spiritual center and its leadership have decided to take a step toward eventually re-opening our church doors and having us gather within the building for our Sunday church services. The plan for this initial phase, out of strictly Zoom-centered gatherings, is to hold our first service, another week from now, outside the physical building along the circular driveway at the entrance to our church, fully adhering to the required protocol: face masks required, social distancing, and no mixing or any type of physical contact.

And it was upon reading this news that excitement surfaced for me, followed by a trace of concern and doubt and fear, along with a series of questions: Are we acting too soon? Yes, we all know that “the numbers of new COVID-19 cases have begun to drop over the past ten days but is that really a meaningful measurement, given that because of the impending storm testing facilities closed up and therefore fewer tests were being administered? And then there were these thoughts. We’ve already seen examples around us here in The Villages, and even among neighbors and spiritual friends and Facebook postings that individuals are becoming lax about social distancing and the wearing of masks. Do I run the risk of being exposed to the virus and carrying it back home to my wife, even if I continue to take all the precautions? Will my actions be a catalyst for me and her becoming even more fearful and stressed? Will that stress cause me to become hyper-fearful and imagine symptoms that further compromise an already compromised autoimmune system?

Now the question is: How do I once again align myself with Divine Wisdom and not hold on to the fear that I’m perhaps NOT really listening to It, as I consider taking part and attending that first service outside? I am instead allowing myself to be tugged along by misguided hope?? I usually receive a clear answer to my own questions by the time I’ve finished writing a blog. But not this time. At least not yet.

So, yes, I still have time to spend in the quiet and listen for that still small voice before I need to decide and take action. And it is also possible that our church leaders will reconsider their plan, should the numbers reflect a resurgence in the number of cases over the next week. Like all of life, this is but another opportunity to practice the basic teachings of Unity and I’m feeling fairly optimistic that I will and that they will as well, doing our best to hear and follow the inner Wisdom we receive. And that thought offers me a calming effect. If any of this resonates for you, I welcome your sharing back. In the meantime, be safe, stay healthy, and let your Light shine.

Love & Light, Steven