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Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining - By Bill Dupley

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The following blog is by my friend, Bill Dupley.


The current pandemic is a tremendous trial in the world. No aspect of the global system is untouched—Commerce, education, religion, and economics have all been impacted.

As of May 2020, there are 3,756,104 confirmed cases in 210 countries and territories, and 259,406 have died. It is one of the greatest disasters to face humankind. 

Countries are also taking on tremendous debt to keep their economies afloat. Small businesses and retailers are severely impacted. Many will not survive.

Millions of people have been laid off or furloughed.

Religion has also been significantly impacted. People can no longer go to church, and buildings are empty. The entire conventional church model has been turned upside down. 

There seems to be no end of negative news. Each day I stream the news I get bombarded with updates on this horrendous virus and the impact it is having on the world.

Positive impacts of the Coronavirus

However, even in the face of this terrible reality, some positive results are coming to the surface. I discussed this with some friends the other night and did some research, and came up with the following list of positive impacts the Coronavirus is having on the globe.

1. Lower pollution

Transport makes up 23% of global carbon emissions, the fact that people are no longer driving and planes are no longer flying means a lot fewer air pollutants and greenhouse gases are being emitted. Between January 1 and March 12, concentrations of nitrogen dioxide, or NO2, fell drastically, especially over hard-hit northern Italy.[i] For the first time in years, the Venice canals are clean. In China, due to the shutdown of the factories over the last two months, the sky is almost completely clear. 

India's capital is one of the world's most polluted cities, but its skies have turned blue, and many people can see the Himalaya Mountains for the first time[ii].

2.  Nature is recovering  

Thanks to the lockdown in India, over 475,000 endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have come ashore to dig their nests and laid 60 million eggs. This was made possible because the beaches were empty of people.

3. Reduced consumption

Because people are currently working from home, we are using less plastic, we print less, we travel less, and we shop less. All of these realities are having a positive impact on the environment. People are also no longer using shopping as entertainment, and an exciting behavior called discovering your closet has happened. Instead of people going out and buying new clothes, they discover clothes they had forgotten.

Others have become far more creative, and improvisation has now become very important. Instead of just going out and buying something, they're figuring out how to do it using what they have. People are also becoming less wasteful. They no longer throw out food, instead, they save it and make something else out of it. Restaurants have done this for years, yet in many homes, the idea of leftovers being used for tomorrow's dinner has gone out of style. That has all changed.

4. Reflection

Because we suddenly have a lot of time to think we're finally facing the fact that we buy too much stuff. Stuff we don't need. People seem to be happy just to be able to go out and exercise and take a walk in the fresh air, or simply to be around their families. Simple pleasures seem to be much more important than they used to be.

Parks and open spaces seem to be bringing joy to many more people. Just being able to step out into the outside world and appreciate the surroundings has now become a fantastic value.

Because we're not spending money on all kinds of things, a buffer of savings for the future might become a reality.

People are praying more. Researchers found that more than half of Americans have called on God to end the spread of COVID-19, including some people who rarely ask for divine help.[iii]

5. Choosing nutrition and exercise

Since people can't go out to eat, there has been a significant improvement in nutrition as people prepare their own meals. There's also been a rediscovery of the recipe book. Families are now cooking together that historically just ordered in, or relied on fast food for meals. 

6. Gratitude

There's a renewed focus on improving the world around us. It's striking how many people are now taking better care of their property. They're painting and decorating and tidying their gardens, mowing their lawns, washing their cars. Being forced to stay at home, they realize they already have a great deal and don't need anymore and are choosing to maximize the enjoyment they get from their property by taking care of what they have. Many are becoming grateful for the things they have. 

People have also become grateful for small things like toilet paper, which they completely took for granted before. In the Western world, few have never experienced empty shelves. That has all changed, and now when we see full shelves, we feel gratitude for the stores and the supply chains in our country.[iv]

7. Neighborhoods become neighborhoods  

With so many people out walking their dogs and taking walks, neighbors are now talking to each other again. Many neighbors are reaching out to isolated neighbors and families to ensure that they have enough food/supplies, and they are okay. Children are making signs on the sidewalks encouraging people.

Conversations have started between neighbors that would never have happened.

People are reconnecting. Friends and relationships that are dormant are being rekindled. The use of social media has facilitated much of that relationship building. The other day Sue and I celebrated the 65th birthday of a friend of ours online. We used a Zoom call and had a party for her. She was in Alberta, and we were in Ontario.

8. Desire to help local businesses

Neighborhoods are now serving their local businesses instead of going to big-box stores to try to get the best deal. There is an increased awareness of the value of local businesses.

9. Education is changing

This crisis has shown that online education is possible. This may have a substantial change in the conventional thought of how to educate at all levels. Primary and secondary schools and University programs are now being delivered using online technology. It may no longer be necessary to spend $25,000 a year to go to university to get a degree. Many of these programs could be done online and reduce the cost of securing this type of education.

10. Work at home

I had worked at home for years and found that my productivity was much higher than it was in the office. This crisis has proven that much of today's work today can be done at home. In many cases, it is no longer necessary to commute. I believe that work models will never go back to the way they were before.

It will be challenging for companies to say that you have to come into the office if, for two months, they were able to run their businesses without people in the offices.

These changes will have a very positive impact on the cost of business, the environment, and traffic. It will enable people to have a much better work-life balance because they no longer spend three hours a day commuting. I expect that productivity will also increase.

11. Opportunity to end long-standing conflicts

It is remarkable to see how the common enemy of the virus is bringing the world together. Greater solidarity is forming around the world. Never in the history of man have we all had the same enemy. Countries are helping each other. Even historical rivals are sharing medical equipment and personnel to help each other. For example, the United Arab Emirates' support to Iran, the United States' to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and cross-border communication between Venezuela and Colombia all have occurred[v].

12. Churches are changing

Since churches can no longer meet in buildings, they have discovered the Internet. Most are doing ministry over the Internet and, as a result touching more people than they ever would inside their churches. Facebook and social media are facilitating relationships. Many churches are utilizing live streams with a chat feature and emphasizing gathering in small groups over the Internet. 

Many pastors have had more contact with their flock because they are connecting with them personally. Creative efforts to care for the church are also happening. 

More people are being reached. One pastor said that I used to reach about 200 people on a Sunday morning, but now 600 people tune in to his sermon on the Internet. The world's hungry for spiritual help during this time and the crisis has pushed the church to change.

13. The emergence of new hobbies and passions

Because people no longer can go to the store, new hobbies and passions have occurred. People are painting, playing a musical instrument, dusting off hobbies, and rekindling passions for these wonderful pastimes that they let go dormant. 

Others are learning new skills, taking courses online, and reading significantly more.

14. Public display for the support of first-line workers

In every community, there have been public displays of thanks to first-line workers. Many of these Personal Support Worker (PSW's)  and nursing staff have historically been ignored. Governments often cut the funding for these health programs when faced with the need to do budget cuts. Yet their value has now been highlighted in society as they look after the most vulnerable of society. They put their lives on the line every day just like a soldier during the war. Society is recognizing their value and publicly declaring it.

Close

A few years ago I read a book called "Who Moved My Cheese?"[vi] This is a remarkable book about change. It is a storybook about two men (Hem and Haw) and two mice (Sniff and Scurry) that live in a maze who go to the same place every day to get their cheese, and then one day, the cheese is gone. The book describes how the four characters deal with change. The two men refuse to change, expecting that the cheese will always come back. The two mice scurry away and find new cheese. Eventually, Haw overcomes his fears and begins to look for new cheese. Along the way, he writes messages on the wall to encourage others who may come along the journey.

Some of his wisdom includes

Change Happens

  • They Keep Moving The Cheese

Anticipate Change

  • Get Ready For The Cheese To Move

Monitor Change

  • Smell The Cheese Often So You Know When It Is Getting Old

Adapt To Change Quickly

  • The Quicker You Let Go of Old Cheese, The Sooner You Can Enjoy New Cheese

Change

  • Move With The Cheese

Enjoy Change!

  • Savor The Adventure And Enjoy The Taste Of New Cheese!

Be Ready To Change Quickly And Enjoy It Again

  • They Keep Moving The Cheese

Change is hard. As humans, we tend to thrive in the consistency and security of routine. Though some may consider themselves adventurous in certain aspects of life, humanity tends to stick to things they are comfortable and familiar with rather than experimenting with change. But the truth is the cheese has moved, the quicker we let go of old cheese, the sooner we can enjoy the new cheese.

Once I had a tough manager. He was so frustrating that I decided to apply for another job in my company, and to my surprise, I got a new job, and it was a promotion. It also led me into a world that embraced the latest technology. I enormously enjoyed that job and the friends I made in my new role. It was a great move.

During the trial with the old manager, I wondered why is this happening? What good can come of this? I felt the Lord speak to me about this entire situation afterward. I thought He said," Son, you had become indifferent, not demanding new things of yourself. I need you to accomplish more. I have more for you to do. I gave you that manager to motivate you to change." These words gave me a perspective on a challenging time in my life. 

This virus has challenged all of us to consider how we will respond once things go back to normal. The reality is the world may not go back to normal. I expect the world will be changed permanently as a result of this virus.

The virus has been a terrible experience for all of us but even these storm clouds have a silver lining. I encourage you to remember all the positive things that have happened as well and not go back to the way things were before.

I like talking to my neighbors. 

About the Author: William Dupley

 

 

Bill and Sue Dupley have been ministering for over 35 years, preaching and leading worship on five continents. Together they minister renewal and teach adults and children how to hear the voice of God. Bill and Sue believe that the supernatural should be natural for all believers and that every believer can impact their world for the Kingdom of God as they hear God's will and follow His leading.

Bill and Sue are certified facilitators for Communion with God Ministries and are affiliated with Harvest Alliance. They and have conducted seminars at Catch the Fire, Mission Fest, Releasers of Life, Iris Ministries, Singing Waters, and many other churches globally. Their passion is for God’s family to know their Heavenly Father and to hear His voice, so that they may live in the fullness of the gifts and the freedom that Jesus bought for them. Contact www.thesecretplace.ca

    

[i] https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/03/13/italy-emissions-coronavirus/?arc404=true

[ii] https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2020/04/impact-coronavirus-world-climate-200414185929278.html

[iii] https://www.aei.org/research-products/report/fear-frustration-and-faith-americans-respond-to-the-coronavirus-outbreak/

[iv] https://www.designer-vintage.com/en/stories/positive-side-effects-coronavirus

[v][v] https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/blog/2020/could-coronavirus-lead-to-a-positive-peace-.html

[vi] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Moved_My_Cheese%3F

Related Resources: 

How to Be Emotionally Free!   
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Have you ever wished you could just sit down and have a long talk with the Lord? Wouldn't it be wonderful to move beyond having a theology that states that God loves you to actually hearing Him whisper words of love into your heart? When you're worried or confused, wouldn't you love to see the situation from His perspective and hear how He wants you to respond? When things don't seem to be going your way and your prayers aren't answered the way you had hoped, wouldn't it be great to hear Him tell you where He is in the midst of it, and what He is working out in your life? Are you ever just a little bit jealous of others who say with such confidence, "The Lord said...."?

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