I have discovered that I am in a different phase of this pandemic. From the very beginning I gladly made changes to my schedule and methods of doing things to keep everyone as safe as possible. The guidelines became ever more stringent until I ended up working totally from home. It didn’t bother me too much as I did not think that it would last longer than my project list. Early on I surmised that Easter gatherings would be impossible but thought that might be on the outside of cautiousness. I was still under the impression that I had better get going on those “someday when I have time” tasks as our window of opportunity would be short.
Until last night when the stay-at-home orders were extended through “at least” the end of April. It was as if I had suddenly walked from one room to another. My event of “weeks” was transformed into an event of “months.” Such a change naturally requires some change in thinking. While I did not initially want to jump on the ZOOM bandwagon and add yet one more hour to people’s screen time, simply phoning, emailing, and blogging does not suit in the long term. We as a community of faith need to set eyes on each other even if it virtually. “Wherever two or more of you are gathered, I am there among you.” Jesus declares in Matthew 18:20, which reminds us of the need to gather together as that community of faith. So I will be using ZOOM to connect to my congregation, my colleagues, friends, and family.
Additionally, I realized that I can stop whipping myself to get long-put-off-projects done a.s.a.p. I am not “on vacation” but working at home. There is a huge difference. So maybe some of those projects might just be put off for a while longer. It won’t appear on my gravestone, so who really cares? I now realize the extra effort it takes to stay productive when working from home – even when I am fairly used to it.
Admitting that it takes extra energy to negotiate and work around other family members and their needs/schedules as well. So maybe not attacking that basement storage nightmare is just not in the cards. Jesus reminds us again and again “to love your neighbor as yourself,” so maybe pacing ourselves is a more Christ-like thing to do.
The other lesson I realized is that there is no longer need to postpone fun. Take-out or picnic lunch dates with a friend (while our cars are parked a parking space width apart) now seem like a good idea. ZOOM game nights, cocktail hours, parties (Check into our ZOOM April Fools Party) all help us keep things and time lines in perspective.
So if you have had a change of heart as the pandemic has progressed, fear not! It can lead to new and glorious things. For although the ways we get together may change, God’s love for each of us never does.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing”. Zephaniah 3:17