Reset or Pause?
My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
“This is it: we have arrived at the end of the world. Finally. Now we can start to build a new one. This is our chance to reshape ourselves as spiritual, scientific, and ethical beings. ”
These words by professor, philosopher, and theologian, Zachary Stein, give us much to ponder during these days. The world has ended! I never thought that I would write those words, but here we are! The world that we have previously known has come to a halt. While we are all anxious for this time of isolating-in-place to be over, what kind of life are we “chomping at the bit” to jump start? I hope that it is not a desire to return to our “pre-Covid-19” style of living! If there is one thing that this experience has taught us is how broken and vulnerable our lives and systems are in this world. It is a humbling lesson to learn, but it is crucial that we learn the lessons that this experience is here to teach us.
All experiences in life have the potential of being our teachers. As I have said on other occasions, when we experience a situation whether it is good or bad, joyful or sorrowful, we need to step back and ask the experience, “What are you here to teach me?” and then to listen deeply in our heart of hearts for the answer that is given. This is what we need to do now with this experience of Covid-19. As human activity has slowed and as the Earth and its non-human inhabitants have begun to heal, we are being given a chance to reset our manner of living to what is more humane and life-giving for creation. To see this time as merely a pause with a hope to resume life as it was before would be a huge mistake! After this experience is over, to embrace a “business as usual” mentality would be disastrous on so many levels!
What will life look like post-Covid-19? That is a question that we need to ponder now both as individuals and as a faith community! There is a potential for a new human consciousness to be born of this experience as never before! Out of the depth of my being, I know this to be true! While at a more superficial level in my life, I am feeling the increased anxiety that is marking the lives of so many at this time, I also know at a much deeper level, that we as the human race are at a crucial crossroads.
We can look at this time in two ways. One way is as a pause of our normal way of life. Another way is to see this as a reset that will lead to something different and better in the future. The choice is up to us! May we choose wisely! We will definitely come out of this with cleaner hands, but the world of the future needs people who are more profoundly human and more deeply interconnected to the web of life around us! Covid- 19 is not something that we would deliberately choose for ourselves, but it is here, and it challenges us to step back and ask the question, “What are you here to teach us?” May we listen intently for the answer!
The full Zachary Stein article, “Covid-19: A War Broke Out in Heaven,” may be found at http://www.whatisemerging.com/opinions/covid-19-a-war-broke-out-in-heaven