Don't Waste the Crisis

March 24, 2020

In the leadership and political world there is a saying said to have originated with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Never waste a crisis.” The statement means in every crisis, leverage it for your good. Don’t just let it happen and roll over you. Intentionally leverage it for something good in your life, something that will move you and/or others forward.

I believe that should be our attitude toward COVID-19. Let’s not waste this crisis. We can obsess over the “what ifs,” argue over the way the experts are handling it, numb our brains with binging on Netflix. We can sleep away the time, stuff ourselves with food, play endless video games. That would be easy. Or we can intentionally decide to make something wonderful come from this time. We can allow this crisis to send us down into a spin of discouragement, depression, and defeat, or it can become a time of developing relationships with our spouses, kids, and our God.

I want to challenge you the same way I am challenging myself: Be very purposeful. Don’t allow anyone to live in isolation in your house. Not your children, not your spouse, not your parents. It will only be harmful to them and to the entire family.

Here a few suggestions. You can probably add many more.
If you haven’t done it before, this is a good time to share regular family meals. Don’t rush. Where are you going? 😊 Sit around the table and talk about the day. Share laughs, concerns, pray. Talk about what you can do together during this time. Plan for what you will do when it’s over.

Go outside with your kids. Play in the yard. Bundle up if you need to, and take a safe walk around the neighborhood. As the weather warms, you can have a “porch party.” People can still maintain social distance, but in the outside air, you can actually be within sight.

Play board games. Play video games together in a tournament style. Schedule “device-free” times to talk and share memories. Read a good book together. Many libraries online are free with an impressive array of family books.

If you don’t already, begin a brief devotional time together every day. Scrapbook. Look at old pictures together and reminisce. If you have old family videos, what a great time to share. In other words, do all the things you have had a passing thought you’d like to do, but never found or made the time to do it.

For yourself, you can grow as well.
Deepen your relationship with God. Start a Bible Study (YouVersion). Read. Make sure you end this time period having been inspired, informed, or entertained by the gifts God has given an author or two.

Whatever you do, use this time to live your life. Many people are finding it hard to do and are struggling being confined. When we deal with change of any kind it is difficult. Crisis is even more so. But this is what we have right now. Our lives are what we have, not what we wish for.

But the truth is, if we are proactive now, as we look back at this period of change and crisis, we will see good that has come from it. Most of us have seen that principle of life happen before. It will happen.

This crisis is forcing us in some ways to get off the treadmill of life. It’s a perfect time to reflect on the rest of our lives. As you do, ask yourself some personal, deep questions: How am I going to be different, changed, after this passes? It WILL pass.

You can waste this time, spend it or invest it. You can think about the things you wanted to get done and needed to get done and can’t, and become completely paralyzed. Or you can invest this time in your relationship with God, your family, your friends, and yourself.

Don’t waste the crisis.