“For the Journey”
Rev. Dave Crawford, March 19/20
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do
with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from
chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a
worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it isa peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which youfind yourself, decades later, still living.”
― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
As one who is always making lists and planning a schedule in my
preferred, old-fashioned paper, coiled calendar, I can appreciate Dillard’s
comments. Yes, a schedule defends from chaos and whim. Yet to depend
too deeply on the false sense of security often created through selfscheduling, well, maybe it’s like an eternity in a lifeboat, in some ways.
Is it fair to say that the absence of a schedule may represent freedom for
some, high anxiety for others? We’re different. Some of us like structure,
some live to be free of it.
I’d be willing to guess that we all face a similar daily struggle in this time of
societal distress in dealing with COVID-19. Our schedules have been
readjusted, altered, or cast aside as we try to figure out the path before us.
Routines and daily rituals, plans and appointments, it’s all been thrown into
upheaval is these unusual times. Perhaps we attempt to reschedule, to fill
our day calendars differently, but even that may prove elusive. Many
aspects of daily life will change. We’ll all be impacted in some ways.
Social distancing will become part of our discipleship.
The word “schedule” implies matters to do with time, how to arrange our
time, fill spaces, plan out things. The Apostle Paul had a few words to offer
early disciples on the challenge of being faithful, maintaining strength,
vision, hope, when the times were tough. Those words may inspire us, and
guide us, as we begin this new journey together, yet separately:
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth
comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us… For in hope we
were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for
what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it
with patience… Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will
hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril,
or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor
life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor
powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be
able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
– Romans 8: selected verses.
May God comfort and lead us. May God empower acts of kindness
and magnanimity from us. May God be our Companion and Vision
through these times and beyond! Amen.