What are you learning right now?
I ask my people this question all the time.
What am I supposed to be learning right now? I ask God this question all the time too. Somewhere along the lines I learned to look for the lesson in challenging situations. I used to think it was a super mature way to approach something difficult.
Turns out, I most often use this as a way to bargain myself out dealing with something difficult rather than embrace mature personal growth - because if you can grab hold of the lesson in the midst of the challenge, then you get to jump straight to the conclusion with less blood, sweat, tears and late night existential crisis phonecalls to your committee, right? RIGHT?! Yes please I will take the conclusion without the process.
So, you know, seen as we have no choice but to deal with these Corona Times, can we all just get on and learn our collective lesson so we can complete the level and jump forward to the end? Thanking you kindly for your cooperation.
But also, recognising what we're learning does actually make it a bit easier to deal with.
What are you learning right now?
Me? I’m learning to live in the tension of hope and disappointment.
I'm learnng to walk in trust through the Valley of the Shadow of Corona, through every real and imagined scenario of even if, even when and even though.
I’m learning to surrender my security in planning and knowing what’s coming next and instead replace it with faith in a God who is always with us.
I’m learning that time is a false concept – because March was at least 72 days long, April has only been two and even though I eat all day I’m still hungry.
I'm learning that how you frame it shapes how you deal with it. Instead of I'm-stuck-with-the-people-in-this-house, its I-get-to-spend-time-with-the-people-I-live-with. Instead of my-hair-is-in-desperate-need-of-a-cut, its I’m-growing-my-hair-out (out of style, out of shape and all the way the floor apparently). Instead of why-has-God-let-this-happen, its where-is-God-at-work-in-the-midst-of-this?
I'm learning that I picked the perfect time to borrow the LOTR extended editions – if anyone needs me, I’m somewhere in Middle Earth for the foreseeable future.
I'm learning to live with all the things I don’t know – when this will end, how this will end, how much damage it will inflict across the world, when I’ll get to see my people again, if I’ll get sick, if you’ll get sick, if we’ll all make it through, if I’ll still have a job, why God let it happen, why God hasn’t ended it yet.
I'm learning how to endure in these Corona Times.
I'm learning how to abide in these Corona Times.
I'm learning how to choose joy in these Corona Times.
I'm learning to laugh and laugh and laugh because 2017 was all about endurance, 2018 about abiding and 2019 about joy. This should be my moment. I have spent the past 3 years preparing. I should be dispensing my hard-earned wisdom for you lesser mortals at the daily briefing. Instead, I’m super-chill-this-is-totally-manageable one day and then please-God-when -will-it-all-be-over the next day.
I'm learning that when I miss my Nan’s cooking I start listening to reggae.
I'm learning that I’ve reached the point of lockdown where I will quite happily spend a couple of hours watching Britain’s Got Talent and crying along with all the sob stories: “This is for my sick Gran/my mute brother/to make my kids proud/because I was bullied.” Those producers earn their money - they manipulate my emotions so well I don’t even care.
I am learning that despite thinking I dressed for me, turns out dressing for me actually means wearing pajamas 24/7.
I am learning that as much as I like to think I'm wild and free, I LOVE routine and faced with time unconstrained I will create a new schedule. Food, exercise, church, family, friends, Steph & Rachel’s Saturday Night Musical Sing-A-Long - my lockdown planner has a time and place for it all. DO YOU NEED HELP WITH A FRAMEWORK? I CAN HELP. I WOULD LOVE TO HELP. I WILL HELP YOU.
I am learning who my neighbours are – we sit by the front window to work for 8 hours a day. We know who is going by. We get worried when Checked Shirt Man and his family don’t go for their daily walk at 12.21pm. Are they sick?! Do they need anything?! Should we go over there and find out?!
I am learning that the invitation, lockdown or not, is still ‘Hey Rach, come take a walk on the wild side.’ And I just can’t say no.
I am learning how to get through a pandemic.
What are you learning?