Back to the Past. When you woke up this morning, did you wake up expecting change?
Most people woke up wanting change. Well not really change—they wanted a return. A return to the normal they once knew. Rather than back to the future, they wanted back to the past.
The upheaval of covid-19 has brought many changes. A high school classmate wrote me of a perceptible change in his life: prior to the virus in times of crisis he and his wife were most often the care givers. His career after graduate school was as a hospital chaplain. He gave comfort and care to patients and staff. He was at the front lines of the crisis after the Oklahoma City bombing and after the 9/11 disaster.
With the present disaster, he found a big change. Others were reaching out to him to give rather than receive assurance and assistance – a big change brought about by our aging and the effect of Covid-19 on the elderly.
In truth, most people like patterns; we like the safety of routines. We do not always embrace change.
I am no different. Sure, I greatly miss working with athletes, and watching sports, but I am blessed, because I can create routines in isolation. I get up, have a quiet time, play cribbage with Jeny, read emails, correspond with friends, write for this blog, write poetry, exercise, walk the dog, work in the yard and read; I have plenty of things to do — and over time the activities have fallen into routines.
Big Changes. Thankfully, I was well prepared for our economic crisis because of the education I received from parents who survived the Great Depression. Change caused by the virus is another matter. I did not expect and was ill-prepared for the enormous changes brought on by Covid-19. I am not always wise in my understanding and expectation of big changes.
For example. I have been slow to recognize the enormity of physical changes in our ever-moving world. I first reflected on big physical changes after a Mediterranean Cruise. We landed in Kudasis Turkey and took a bus inland to Ephesus, a town where Paul preached and some believe Mary lived. We started at the top of a hill and noted many well-preserved sites. At the bottom we viewed the Grand Theater where Paul preached and a large open space that was the Agora, the marketplace.
Our guide then pointed past the open space and declared—that is where the port was located!
I was stunned. We had just driven several miles inland—no water in site. In the brief time since Christ, earthquakes, silt and other phenomenon had filled in the land. Ephesus is now six miles inland and will not recover.
Later, on that same tour, we visited Pompeii, a city buried by the ash of Mt Vesuvius. In addition to all the changes we saw in the archaeological sites, the former port of Pompeii was also filled in and will not recover.
Awareness of Change. Even though I was not in tune with the dramatic changes from Covid-19, I am becoming more aware of the need to be prepared for change. Jobs change, houses change, our bodies change, ministers change, relationships change, people die, the list goes on and on. From some changes we can recover, from others we cannot recover. I n both cases, I strongly believe, I am wiser to prepare for change than to live in the hope of none; not out of fear but out of wisdom.
The climate is changing. I have been to Alaska, there are fewer glaciers. I have been to New Zealand, there are fewer glaciers. No matter what the cause, our climate is changing. We cannot go backwards we should prepare for the future. If you want a world without fossil fuel – prepare for a very different life. If you want to continue with fossil fuels prepare for the climate changes. Either way—prepare for change.
Earthquakes will occur. The San Andreas will happen someday. By the accounts I read it will not be like a movie with a giant Tsunami and a huge chasm, but billions of dollars in damages will occur, roads and food chains will be disrupted, optic cables and gas and oil lines will be broken. It will be difficult to recover.
Volcanoes will erupt. If the Yellowstone Caldera erupts the devastation will make Mt St. Helens appear as a small blip.
Viruses will return. And so I repeat — I am better served to prepare for change than to live in the hope of none; not out of fear but out of wisdom.
Some people do not like to think about change. Some see catastrophic change as a sign of end times and see no need to prepare. I believe the Bible—we do not know when the end times will occur. I think the Boy Scouts have the right idea – Be Prepared!
Until next time