And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night.” And it was so.
Long ago, Joni Mitchell sang in her popular tune, Big Yellow Taxi:
Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.
Yeesh, we’ve had a lot of practice of late in the sentiment St. Joni raises. Seems like the vast majority of things upon which we base our everyday, walkaround life are history…at least temporarily—whatever temporary means! Granted, not every aspect of ordinary existence deserves special attention. I mostly will not know that I miss my least favorite elements of daily duties…until I have to pick them up again! Kind of ironic, huh? Or perhaps I’ll approach those tasks in the drudgery bin with a little more zest, or at least appreciation, than previously.
We humans all fall victim to a greater or lesser degree to the taking-things-for-granted disease. Even the items we really love move over to the routine list at some point. I thought I would never, ever, ever tire of listening to California Dreaming by the Mama and the Papas. I did, though I still really love that song. I remember being so excited about lacing up my basketball sneaks before practice that my hands shook! After my last game in high school, I remember feeling, at least a little, Glad that’s over! (I regrew my sense of excitement for basketball since that time.)
What about something really consequential. God created the light bearers and glued them on the arc of the heavens in such a way that life appeared and organized itself (with much Divine tending) on the face of the earth. The sun’s been rising and setting ever since. Sometimes we’ll find a place where the aura is particularly awesome—like the beach. Mostly, the sun rises and sets…and we yawn at the astro-physical magnificence of the occurrence. The amazing regularity of that awe-inspiring event prevents humans from being toast…or ice cubes, depending on your location on the globe.
I would like to challenge you to think about this question as the Easter season unfolds: About what can you sing, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone, now that it’s gone for a bit? Maybe, just maybe it’s your favorite thing ever—like advanced algebra class. Or maybe it’s something you don’t know you miss yet. Write it down in your journal (a practice which you have continued since Lent ended, right?), or on a piece of toilet paper. No, don’t waste that! Record it somewhere! The measure of who we are as resilient people comes from what we learn when the pressure is on. News flash: The pressure is on! We will be a different society when Covid-19 abates. HOW we will be changed will depend on our ability to think about what we missed…and what remains. Let’s get a head start on the learning curve.
Prayer: Gentle God, these are challenging times, and we don’t need to pretend that they are not. You continue to speak to us through them, however. Keep us alert to the lessons we didn’t even know we needed to learn. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen
Written by Pastor Zomermaand