The Long Days of a COVID Summer

I’m just coming off a two week vacation; one that I wasn’t sure I could take till the evening before I left. It’s not like other vacations. We didn’t go far and we went to places we could seclude ourselves away. Interesting to live in isolation and then to go to a cabin where the isolation continues. But at least in northern Arizona, we could hike in the cooler weather and look at pine trees instead of our usual (and beautiful) cacti.

Living through Covid-19 means staying home and staying close and staying away. It wears on ones nerves. In order to cope, I’ve learned to watch less news and more Netflix, meet on ZOOM and make calls on phone while hoping to figure out an easy and delicious dinner, make quick runs to the grocery store, watch the gray hair grow wild and unruly, and to pray more deeply. To say the summer has been slow is not really the truth. It has been busy. But it has also been quiet in a “hunkered down” kind of way.

And so we chose to go on vacation so that I could take a break from this new normal and, frankly, from videoing my sermons and services. Now THAT is wearing. When we video, we have to look at lighting, angles, background, and attend to make up and dress. And when we video we have to figure out if the sound works, and when the sanctuary will be empty, and then of course we wonder if the sermon we created is what the people holed up in their houses will need. I can’t complain because I know others have it much worse. It’s just all so new.

This summer reminds me of something I learned long ago while running a marathon. When the road is long, it’s a mainly a mind game. Keep your mind in good order, and you’ll last till the end. But, let your thoughts go down to despair, and the race is lost. In the marathon, for most of us, what matters is not speed, but finishing.

So on this long Covid Summer of 2020, remember the slow and steady pace, and thoughts of a finish line, will get us through to the other side. Hang in there, everyone! We can do this together. And we can pray for better days.

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