Wednesday, 08 April 2020 12:59

Don’t let fear overcome you

Written by  Colin Miller, Farmer's Chaplain
Colin Miller. Colin Miller.

Farmer's Chaplain, Colin Miller on overcoming fear during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before writing my column for this month, I have had to sit by and wait this out.

The reason?

Things are changing so rapidly. By tomorrow, today’s breaking news may well be out of date. There is a good chance, by the time this lands at your place, our world may be quite different again. So yes, I will need to conclude with something that has no ‘use by date’.

We were in Brisbane when our PM announced the need to be back in NZ before midnight March 15. This was soon revised one hour, to 1:00 am Monday morning. Arriving after that would mean you must self-isolate for 14 days. We landed Monday afternoon, so we are in the middle of the self-isolation thing as I prep this. Too easy for us I guess, we already live rather isolated.

While we were in Aussie, I watched a short interview with a lady who has a PhD in one of the human behaviour fields. The interviewers asked her for her best advice in relation to this current pandemic. She made some interesting points, which I actually totally agreed with. One of the points was: we need to think with our logical mind, not our anxious mind, as she termed it.

I am sure readers will be aware of the crazy panic buying that has been raging so widely. Here are some others I have noted from offshore:

• Calling 911 for toilet paper

• Calling the police on your neighbours because you heard them coughing

• Toilet paper being smuggled across the southern border in the US

• Armed police guarding a truck unloading … you guessed it … loo paper

• Supermarket shoppers brawling over … yep, loo paper again

• Across the creek in NSW police will be patrolling supermarket isles … yep, loo paper isles too!

One could be forgiven for reaching the conclusion that the most vital item you absolutely must have in your possession to fight any pandemic is … heaps and heaps of loo paper! Barricade yourself in with it, I guess!

I am very happy for you if you choose to think the above behaviour comes from thinking with one’s logical mind. But for me, I would put it all and other similar stuff firmly with the other option – the anxious mind. I am quite sure most people will readily see which of these two minds fear will flow from in abundance.

Now, fear will always magnify the negative. By magnify I mean to make much of or enlarge. And we’re surely seeing plenty of that! Fear, and its best mate worry, can suffocate you from the inside out. I am not saying this current situation is not bad, but let’s keep a good and healthy perspective here.

Quite contrary to fear, faith is actually the opposite. Faith will magnify and make much of the positive. One can paralyse you if you let it, and even destroy your health; the other will encourage and empower you. Both will affect you on the inside.

The Good Book carries a story of a nation that totally lost the plot in one night. And it wasn’t over the loo paper! Things changed from ‘normal’ to a fear filled quivering mess in one night! That’s right. If you ask me, it points to a human thing, and how much we need help!

I’m thankful to have an active and effective faith. Times like this highlight that for me.

If you feel it would benefit you to chat to a Chaplain, then you are welcome to email me.

Stay safe. Take good care of yourself, and God Bless.

To contact Colin Miller email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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