It seems like years ago that Pastor Ben and I worked to identify potential Confirmation mentors and church school teachers for 2019-2020 and plan the calendar. This year has not turned out like any of us planned. But that is quite obvious, isn’t it.
By this time, some have sunk into a rhythm of acceptance of our situation. I speak for myself here, but perhaps many of you as well: I went through the stages of “grief” associated with the loss of my normal rhythm. My stages went something like this:
- Denial– We’ll be back after our two-week break. See you on March 26th!
- Anger– People are dying, parents are overwhelmed, jobs are disappearing, students and children are having to learn through a screen, and the economy is erupting. The world is turning upside down.
- Bargaining– Plant a garden, bake bread, work out, take two walks per day, make hundreds of masks, and schedule Zoom meetings with everyone I know!
- Depression– Weeks have passed. We’re still here. But the world will never be the same.
- Acceptance– March 26th. Then April 20th. Then May 20th. Then June 20th. Here I am, here we are. Let’s do the best we can.
- New waves of grief and introspection have come upon us in recent days as many of us reflect on race relations in a new way. There will be stages of grief with this, as well, but God help us if we end at acceptance instead of action!
New waves of grief and introspection have come upon us in recent days as many of us reflect on race relations in a new way. There will be stages of grief with this, as well, but God help us if we end at acceptance instead of action!
What does this age require of us? If we have the strength to direct our feelings, to where should we direct?
Last week Pastor Ben hosted a small physically distanced celebration party for our FCC High School graduates. As we sat together in chairs in the parking lot eating chicken parm from Papa Joe’s, I lamented to the students about the fate of their senior years. “I’m so sorry,” I told them. “You had everything taken away from you, and you missed out on so much. How do you feel?”
You would be proud of our teens. “I don’t think about that,” one of them said. Others acknowledged that they won’t have those classic ‘senior year’ experiences in their memory banks. But they’re not focusing on that. They’re looking ahead, having mourned what was lost, accepted it, and turned toward the future. Good job, Darien teens. You set an example for us all.
Philippians 3:12-13 exhorts the church: “Not that I have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The waves of change are already rolling. Will you join us, and jump in?