Insecurity. Fear. Gnawing financial worries. These are the sorts of things a lot of us are struggling with during these strange, difficult days.

My advice to those of you who are lately sleeping less than you used to (not that any of you have asked me, of course) is to simplify. The singular blessing of difficult times is that they make you focus on what's most essential and true in life. They help/force you to tune out the superfluous, the distracting, the wasteful, the ... merely noisy.

If life's got you terrified, it's time to get clarified. That's my motto.

And when you've done that---when everything but the most essential thing in your life has disappeared from your attention---what's left? God.

And how do we do that clarification---how do we get to God? By accessing the Holy Spirit within us.

And what is God/the Holy Spirit? God (as the Bible repeatedly tells us) is love.

The way we simplify and clarify our lives is by listening exclusively to what God most wants us to do and be. And what God most wants us to do and be is love.

Everything always comes down to the same thing: Serve others. As Christ made as clear as he possibly could: It's all about sacrifice. Give to others, ceaselessly serving them, and expect for your loving sacrifice nothing in return---nothing, that is, beyond living at one with God.

When things get tough for us, we think we need to start watching out for ourselves. But the only way any of us can really protect ourselves is by losing ourselves in the service of others.

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