I had the chance to travel to Delaware last week for work, and I was so grateful to be out and about for a few days. When I arrived home, I saw I had received a newsletter in the mail. Opening it, I started to read that the author was writing about the need to develop a recovery plan.
Like St. Ignatius of Loyola, the author made a comparison between our physical health and our spiritual health. I have to admit that I don’t always read every newsletter which comes my way, but this one was different, and I sat down with a cup of coffee and read every word. Writing that we are coming out of a “year of global trauma” resonated with me. Yes, like the trauma a person experiences when they are physically injured, it’s a safe bet that we all have been mentally and spiritually traumatized since the pandemic began over a year ago.
When someone experiences physical trauma, the health care experts working with him/her develop a recovery plan, which has a goal of bringing them back to health. For many, physical therapy is required, and that might involve months of therapy and tons of effort on the part of the patient.
The author challenged his readers to develop a rehab/recovery plan now, as we continue to move from being in pandemic mode to recovery mode, with a workable plan to help us return to a more typical rhythm of life. I guess the reason this newsletter resonated with me so much was that I had already started the process of recovery, but I wasn’t working off a plan, just gut instincts. A discerned plan is always better, although so far things have been working out well.
One early morning while I was on my business trip, I was sipping coffee in my hotel room and feeling lazy. I was a mile or two from the ocean, and I knew the sun would be coming up soon. Part of me wanted to stay in bed, but I realized that I needed to move. I needed to get my clothes on, wash my face, and get down to the beach! Within five minutes, I was in the car and fifteen minutes later, I was on the sand, just seconds away from the sun coming up on the horizon.
I’m always amazed at the other people who gather to see a sunrise. On this particular day, there wasn’t a lot of people, but those that were there all stood up as the sun appeared. Old people, young people, single folks and families, we all stood mesmerized. I was grateful that I had the chance to see another day dawning. I began to realize that I had to get a plan together for this time in my life. We’ve all been traumatized over the last year, and we’re slowing coming out of a fog. It’s time to get our lives back together, friends, and let it start now, with a fresh, new recovery plan.
We may not be able to immediately take a long vacation, renovate our house, travel great distances to see friends and loved ones, but we can start planning now for those things to happen. For now, let’s plant something in our garden, let’s clean/rearrange our house, let’s buy a new book and make more of an effort to speak with our neighbor. How about trying a new recipe, taking long walk, making a day retreat, or visiting a museum, physically or virtually. With God’s help, all things are possible!
Let this be for us a spiritual recovery plan, one in which we bring God into our daily lives, activities and plans for the future. God has never left us, and we can find God in everything. Let’s not miss this opportunity. Let’s start today!
The photo was taken at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.