. . . a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away. . .
Ever since COVID19 hit, Eric and I have enjoyed the new Saturday morning tradition of connecting via FaceTime with our granddaughter, Kysi. Like many people I know, the shutdown of our busy lives has presented an opportunity to learn (or re-learn) how to enjoy those traditions that succumbed to such modern technological devices demanding our attention-- television, internet, and smartphones. The closing of stores and communal events and the necessity for many to work from home this past spring opened spaces of time--sometimes, hours--to write letters to friends and family, dig into that novel received as a gift way last Christmas, try that bread recipe given by a coworker (until the grocery store ran out of dried yeast), or just sit and watch the kids across the street play in their yard.
One sunny April morning, while finishing a brisk walk, I heard my neighbor Lois (not her real name), call out from her back deck; “Hey, Pastor Laura, how ya doing?” Naturally, I stopped to catch my breath and have a chat with this friendly woman. Our conversation quickly moved from the lovely spring weather to life amidst the pandemic. Because you don’t know my former neighbor, let me say that although Lois has experienced a lot of suffering in her life, from losing a son to cancer to dealing with the chronic pain of MS, she has a very positive view on life. Over the years I had come to appreciate my chats with Lois, as she always offered a positive spin on life. During this particular conversation, Lois did not let me down. Here is a paraphrase of her wisdom offered that day: “Ya know, people are so frustrated about life now, with the pandemic shutting everything down--no freedom to spend the day shopping at the mall in Fargo or hanging out with friends at the local watering hole. The way I see it, we now have more time to spend with family--to re-connect--even mend broken fences. Focus on what is really important in life. Enjoy this time when life has slowed down.”
Saturday morning chats with Kysi have become a ritual for Eric and me. What began as a space of time devoid of the usual Saturday morning errands--thanks to the pandemic-- has now become a time of relaxing with our little granddaughter (and now her baby sister!). Quoting the author of Ecclesiastes, no matter how much our lives return to the busyness of 21st century American life, Eric and I will continue to keep our tradition of time spent with grandchildren, throwing away those Saturday morning ‘to-do’ lists in favor of something much more valuable!
Peace in Christ,