Thursday, 13 May 2021

Has the lockdown made you want to rethink your life?

WE are slowly being unlocked, except in Leicester, bless them!

Over the lockdown the vast majority of people have been brilliant, but now we face the challenge of beginning to pick up our lives again and that can be complex and challenging.

There is a set of four questions going the rounds of the churches which strike me as quite good, if glaringly obvious, and with application far beyond the life of a congregation.

The obvious can sometimes be useful, so I share them with you:

1. What have you gained, over the lockdown, that you would like to lose? (All together now... “weight!”).

My great-aunts would say of me, “That boy’s got nothing to learn but good.”

I had a talent for forming new and definitely bad habits. Have you picked up any bad habits you need to leave behind?

2. What have you gained that you would like to keep? A better life-pattern? New friends? New neighbourliness? New hobbies? A new vision of your future?

How can you make sure those things stay with you? What do you need to do, or to rule out, to make that happen?

3. What have you lost that you wish to stay lost (weight?). Congratulations, but there’s no need to be smug about it).

The misery of the daily commute? Those workplace antagonisms relieved by working from home? Sleeplessness? The pollution caused by “normal” traffic? (Am I wrong in thinking that there are more bees around this year? Answers on a postcard to the editor please!)

4. What have you lost that you would like to regain? This is where the tragedies of the lockdown are found. A job lost, maybe, or — hardest of all — a loved one?

In the great scheme of things my losses have been trivial — for example, I have just removed all the Bibles from the church pews, which at least symbolically goes against all my instincts but is necessary until the risk of infection is much lower than currently. They will return and increasingly church-goers can access the Bible on their phone, so it’s not a disaster.

Some things we have lost can be recovered, with initiative and hard work. Other things are gone for good, at least in this life.

Jesus had some challenging things to about gaining and losing.

Possible the most challenging was at Mark 8:36 “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

I hope you’ll have time to think about what is important and what isn’t, what gaining or losing might mean for you.

As Churchill supposedly said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

It can be a time for a rethink.

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