In case, with everything in lockdown mode, you forgot, this Sunday is Easter. It certainly won’t be the typical Easter Sunday with sunrise services and family dinners after church. But it’s still going to be Easter.
I find the timing of this virus pandemic in the USA very fascinating. The Christian Church for centuries has observed the 46 days prior to Easter as the Lenten Season. During these days it has been a common practice for Christian believers to give up something for Lent. Examples of a typical Lenten fast might be going without dessert or not eating candy. Although not always particularly easy, these sacrifices usually amounted to no more than a minor inconvenience in our lifestyle.
Lent and the practice of fasting is a way some Christians intentionally opened the doors of their hearts and minds a little wider so they might understand the ways of God at a deeper level. Sometimes when we take things away from ourselves, it gives us a better perspective about the things that really matter.
The first day of Lent is called Ash Wednesday, and this year it was on February 26. According to the CDC, the USA had a total of 15 reported cases of COVID-19 as of February 26. We all know how much has changed in our daily routine since then. This virus pandemic has pushed a giant pause button on many of the things we would have considered important: sporting events, investment accounts, social outings, and for some of us even our jobs. It’s like a massive involuntary Lenten fast.
I’m working at being contemplative during this time, and hopefully, am learning something from this experience. Here are a few of my reflections:
- I can be content without all my typical activities.
- I can encourage others with a note, phone call or video chat.
- I don’t control as much as I thought I did, and that’s okay.
- Less scheduled activities create more quality time with my family.
Slowing down creates more opportunity to focus on what’s most important in life: family, my faith in God, and friendships.
Please share with us what you have been learning during this time.