Today we were back in the House; God's House. For the first time in six weeks we were able to meet together at church for a gathering which perhaps some of us had begun to take for granted prior to COVID-19. The atmosphere was one of great celebration and excitement.
In keeping with COVID-19 safety advice, the auditorium and the adjoining cafe had been re arranged. Less seats, and not more than two together, in the former, and none at all in the latter. We queued for coffee (not me personally because I don't drink coffee) on crosses marked on the floor and took our caffeinated refreshments outside where we could maintain social distancing.
During the period of 'church by video' we also continued to meet in our small groups which we call Connect groups. We did this via Zoom. If you had shares in Zoom before COVID-19 you are among the winners in the world's worst pandemic in a hundred years.
Interestingly, when we moved outside, regular Zoom participants didn't come, and those who had either completely or pretty much completely avoided the Zoom sessions were back with a bang. COVID-19 has provided an opportunity for people to evaluate what is important in their lives. The choices we made in response to the restrictions placed upon us by government fiat may have lasting consequences in the 'new normal'. Or not.
Will the lock down period, and what we had to do because some choices had been removed, be seen as an aberration which we should build a bridge over? Or will it be seen as a course correction for lives which had become unbalanced and devoid of gratitude?
I was initially upset by the closure of gymnasiums. My thrice or four times a week visit to the gym had become a staple of my routine. I saw it as necessary and would only drop a planned session if absolutely necessary. In the first week of no gym, I worked out in the stairwell of our apartment block. My wife and I then decided to go for a walk together in the evenings. This walk turned in to a workout which included interval training and body weight workouts.
What these evening exercise sessions also gave us was invaluable time together to talk. Now we're not just working on our fitness together, we're working on our relationship. However, this is maintenance, not surgery because we are already remarkably in sync. This time of talking and discussing issues keeps us on the same page. It is making us healthier and happier.
We chose this. I chose to do this with her, not alone and it was a great decision. I enjoy this time we have so much , I've decided not to not return to the gym.
This is just one example of a course correction brought about by COVID-19. I think almost everyone will have done this to some extent because life is all about opportunities and choices. Wisdom is required both to recognize opportunity and to make good choices in response. I believe many people have done, are doing exactly that. The rest will carry on, blind and ignorant to the things which really matter; to those eternal treasures which characterize the kingdom of Heaven.
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