New Days, New Ways – April 18, 2020
I suspect all of you by now know about our dog Champ. He is quite the character, adding much delight and a perhaps a few less desirable moments into our lives like the time, half asleep, I decided to put him out the front door at 5am because the back yard was wet and more muddy. I told him to do his business quick and come back in – which he had done many times before. On this occasion however, the must have been a squirrel or cat over in Eric’s yard, because Champ got two feet out the door and he was gone. Just gone. Kathleen and I both got dressed for the chilly early morning and went up and down the street with flashlights shining in the neighbors’ yards calling our wonderful pooch. Not my idea of fun at 5am. But Champ’s unconditional love, companionship, and all around “good boy” traits far outweigh the time and effort; not only in the more difficult times, but in the daily time and energy it takes to have a happy healthy pet.
As I thought about that this morning. I thought about how Champ was born into one environment, with at least one parent, siblings, and human caretakers – and then – he came into another environment – our home – under our care. Certainly, there were a lot of differences between the two environments. Yet, at least one thing remained the same. If Champ was going to continue to grow and thrive, he needed to be cared for in his new home.
Right now, with the corona virus, you and I have found ourselves in the midst of a new environment in so many ways – including spiritually. With social distancing and the closing of the church to public gatherings, we can no longer manage our “spiritual lives” as we did before. We cannot meet together, shake hands, give and receive hugs, or physically worship and learn together – something that has been so natural to us and foundational to our spiritual health and well-being.
But just like our fur baby coming into his new home, our spiritual lives need to be cared for in this new environment, so we can continue to grow and thrive. So let me urge you to take advantage of the opportunities we have during this time so we can make this season one of continued spiritual growth. Rather than stagnating or losing ground, we can emerge from this even better than when we went in.
Take advantage of technology you may not be used to. Through Zoom (www.zoom.us) we have been able to see, hear, and greet one another, as we have gathered for “church”, Sunday School, Bible study, Men’s, Women’s, and Youth groups, etc. How awesome it was to have almost 50 together last Sunday morning. No, it’s not the same as physically being with one another, but it sure has been enriching for us, both emotionally and spiritually. It’s also amazing how uplifting it is just to talk to others on the phone, checking in and showing we care – something we may not have done much of as we expected to see everyone on Sunday morning. Just like Champ, our spiritual lives don’t feed themselves. It’s going to take some time and effort on our part. But the rewards are sooooo worth it.
Love you all,