When we released the Focus for 2020, we had just come through the horrific wildfires of December and early January which was preceded by the ongoing serious drought in our country regions. Now just two months later, we find ourselves in the midst of another very serious crisis, COVID-19, which requires us to seriously consider everything we do and how we go about life. So many people are in fear of what could happen and are aware of how many could die from this virus. We must be responsible and follow the guidelines our Government has implemented to try and curb the virus. Amid this, life must go on even our though our ways of doing some things will change.
Personally, I am reminded of Psalm 91 where we are assured that God is in charge and that He is our protector. In verse 3 it says, “Surely He will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” We must still carry on with our lives regardless of whatever ways they may change. One thing that will not change is that we will continue to give thanks in all circumstances.
The Focus for 2020 will not change. However, we will need to change how we give thanks to those in our Focus groups. We must not let the current COVID-19 crisis distract us form expressing our gratitude to those amazing emergency workers who have given so generously of their time and resources – some have even given their lives. Crisis, like the one we are in now, can make us feel desperate to look after ourselves. And, if we are not careful, we can forget about others around us – and especially those Disaster Recovery workers we are wanting to thank this year.
We need to think creatively and find new ways to say Thanks. As a church, group of churches, or a community group, you could take out an add in the local newspaper and thank these dedicated emergency workers. You could put up posters to say Thank You on our National Day of Thanks. There are many ways in which you could express your gratitude, and when you come up with these new ways, please tell us about them at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can encourage others with your story.
The Personal Focus is an all year-round attitude of gratitude. It is about living a life of thankfulness and saying Thanks, through simple acts of Gratitude, to those who have made a difference in your life and the life of your community. How, in this new social era, do we interact and express our gratitude to others? You can send a Thank You card to that person or group of people you wish to thank. You can carry some Mini Thank You cards in your pocket when you go to collect your take-away from the restaurant or café, and leave them one to say thank you and to be an encouragement in these difficult times. Expressing gratitude is not limited by social distancing, it is limited by how we think about other people.
As we travel these new uncharted waters together, let us always be thankful for the many blessings we have, even in these difficult times, and truly become, as a Nation – the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.
Robert J Burman
Coordinator – Thanks.org.au