I hope you are doing well, in good health and in good spirits as we continue to practice social distancing and new living conditions. Sometime last week we passed the forty-day mark since Governor Hogan declared a state of emergency and instructed us to stay at home. There are lots of references to forty days in the Bible and the life of the church. Noah and his family saw the rain come down for forty days and nights. Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness before he began his ministry and there were forty days between the resurrection of Jesus and his ascension. The season of Lent in the church has forty days (plus 6 Sundays) as well as the season of Easter.
For me and some others I’ve talked with, it feels that we have reach a point where the novelty and urgency of the situation is no longer so fresh and we have had to find ways to structure the time and face the uncertainty that this will go on, in some fashion, for quite some time. Although we would all like life and business to resume, most of us have come to accept the restrictions and do our part for the health and safety of others. There will be tremendous consequences that come, and many are already experiencing suffering that goes beyond inconvenience.
One of the ways I have been spending my time is by reflecting on warm and bright memories of the past. I’ve gone through pictures of past trips and vacations with my family. I’ve re-read some old cards and letters that I received from friends across the years and Wanda and I are recalling some favorite meals we’ve shared together. Such memories kindle appreciation and gratitude for what has been. They also feed hope for what lies ahead. We can’t say for certain right now how years from now we will look back on this period in our lives, but I expect that there will be fewer things I will take for granted, fewer things that I will find annoying, and many more things that I will stop and savor.
Grace and peace to you.