This column began way, way back in the good old days of 2013. You remember those times don’t you? When you could hang out in groups and didn’t freak out when someone coughed and weren’t getting emails from every business you know of telling you to stay home and stay safe? Ah, the good old days!
This column began as a way to look at the deeper issues of life from an honest but humorous perspective. Hopefully I’ve managed to do that at least part of the time. But now things have changed, and boy how they’ve changed! As of the date of me writing this we’re still allowed outside, but no one knows what the next few days or week could bring us.
Which brings us to the coronavirus and its impact on all our lives. Businesses are either shutting down or changing. My church, Christ’s Church on the River, will be live-streaming our worship services for at least two weeks, and probably longer given the situation.
So like it or not – and I for one don’t – we’ve got to adapt and change. Believe it or not, this change can and should be a real opportunity that corona (the virus not the beer) is bringing to us. Since many of us are at home more and doing less we have a great opportunity to do something meaningful.
No, I’m not talking about streaming the latest new fad either. On March 23rd Jennette McCurdy, who you might know as Sam from iCarly or Sam & Cat, put out a song on her Instagram which talked about her watching everything on all the streaming services and then contained these lines:
“This might make me face myself in a way I haven’t before /
I don’t want to tune into my thoughts – where’s my career going? /
I wish my grandpa hadn’t died before seeing me succeed /
There’s always YouTube Red, sure there’s nothing really on there but it beats dealing with myself!”
And there you have it. This just could be the greatest opportunity we’ve had as a nation, a state and a community, not to mention individuals, to do just that. Take the time to ask the really big questions and then get off our collective butts and work at finding answers. It’s a lot better than streaming yourself into absolute numbness.
In response to this virus there’s much more excellent material, free online, that could help you take a good long look at yourself. Maybe now is the perfect time to ask about things like meaning and purpose, not just of life in general, but of your life in particular. I mean, what else do you have to do?
This will end and the vast majority of us will get through it. And when it’s all said and done what will we have to show for it? Hopefully as a nation we’ll make some changes in things that this virus has exposed. But what about us as individuals? If I come out of this the same as I went into it that’s pretty sad. I ought to be a better, wiser, stronger person after going through a major life event than I was when it began.
If I’m not then I’ve wasted an opportunity that may never come my way again. So let’s strip off our business as usual, drop entertaining ourselves to death, and see if we can’t take this time to look beyond ourselves and our culture and find some of life’s deepest meanings.
Don’t waste this time! Do it now.
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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit his website HERE.