I’m hoping that most of you will have sung-read that. If not, then allow me to enlighten you. While the sentiment may be familiar, it was the catchy tunes of the High School Musical movie that have prompted me, and many others, to be unable to hear or read those words without at least internally breaking into song.
For those not quite ‘down with the kids’ or in this case, ‘down with the Millenials’, High School Musical tells the story of a high school jock struggling with his identity as he falls into the school theatre scene. All the classic American High School cliques are represented with all their seemingly uncrossable border lines. The most well-known song from the movie celebrates the breaking down of the labels and boxes the teens find themselves in. As it turns out, a basketball jock can be a wonderful singer. A narcissistic, fame driven theatre kid can turn out to be a good friend, a shy kid can bloom in front of a microphone. The kids learn that in life, we’re all in this together, regardless of how else we may define ourselves or how others judge us.
Today, we find ourselves facing challenges that effect everyone – from global climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a time where we find ourselves having to change how we live, to sacrifice some personal freedoms to protect ourselves and others from infection. It’s a time when stress and anxiety levels are high. Our identity feels at risk when we can no longer rely on our usual routines nor our jobs to define us. These can be frightening times indeed.
So, where can we find some desperately needed hope? For many around the world the Bible stands out like a bright signal flame, reminding us of what God says about our identity.
We are loved by God – ‘But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.’ – Psalm 86:15
We are seen, heard and understood by God. – ‘Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.’ – Matthew 6:8
God is compassionate and near to those who suffer. – ‘The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.’ – Psalm 34:18
Maybe these things are exactly what we need to hear. When everything seems to be changing so quickly, when there seems to be more reasons to worry and fear than ever before, when we feel like we’re losing a sense of who we are. Maybe what can help us most is remembering that however we’re feeling, however we’re dealing (or struggling to deal with) the effects of lockdowns and social distancing, we’re not alone. COVID-19 is a global problem, we’re literally all in this together.
We’re all in this together, so reach out in whatever way you can. Check in with loved ones, remind them that they aren’t alone. Allow yourself to give and receive some comfort. And remember, that there is a God of love who understands just how you feel and where you are. Even when you feel most alone, we’re all in this together, with Him.