It has been about two months now in Ontario since non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down and residents were instructed to isolate at home as much as possible. And about two months since churches have closed doors and moved to online services and gatherings. Seems like much longer. There has been so much to process, so much going on, and so much written on what’s going on that I haven’t really known where to start in putting my thoughts and feelings to words here. And there has been a steep learning curve with holding online services, especially as a smaller church with limited resources. I have had to be preacher, worship leader, computer tech, sound tech, and production director all at the same time. I appreciate the volunteers that have been doing their best outside of their comfort zones.
I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences as I have; at first, simply trying to adjust to the “new normal,” getting used to not meeting up with people and being in social contexts, being extra, extra sanitary and washing hands until your knuckles are cracked dry, thinking about the possibility of (or dealing with) loss of job and income, concern about your own health, and playing out in your mind what would happen if you should contract the coronavirus. There was no shortage of issues arising from this pandemic—my mind was tired just thinking about these things! And unfortunately, many in our community have suffered some of these things.
There is a lot that is written on our situation now, and I think it basically comes down to perspective. Life, in fact, is largely about perspective. Some view this pandemic as judgment from God (no more than having the flu is a judgment from God), others view it as a conspiracy, others as an opportunity to help one’s neighbor, and others as imprisonment. Some view this pandemic as an opportunity to push one’s own agenda through fear-mongering and guilt-driven rhetoric. And our perspective(s) will definitely determine what sort of response and mindset we will have in this situation.
For me, I choose to view this pandemic as an opportunity for many things. An opportunity to reset and reflect on my life. An opportunity to care for others. An opportunity to learn how to do YouTube live streaming. An opportunity to reconnect with friends and loved ones. An opportunity to rest. An opportunity to remember what’s truly important in this life and to pursue those things first. An opportunity to practice patience, both situational patience and interpersonal patience. There have been times when I haven’t seized the opportunity as much as I would have liked, but that’s ok.
We can’t control the world around us, but we can control how we respond to it and what our perspective will be. We can control how we view this present situation. I don’t know about you, but I prefer a perspective that builds others up and pushes me towards greater growth and maturity, no matter how hard it might feel.