How comfortable and busy we had become. It was no one's fault. Most of us who are old enough to remember dancing to the first Beatles number one, can also remember pushing button 'B' in the public telephone box. Our parents may not have had a car, nor an overseas holiday. Slowly, almost by stealth, it would seem that we had come to take for granted, and rely on, a whole raft of gadgets and aids which have made life easier or more comfortable.
It would also seem that in the midst of the daily threat we face from Covid-19 many are discovering what is to be really valued in their lives, what are their core loves, needs and values. These have been well defined by sociologists, psychologists and others, but now it is our turn isn't it? Our turn now, because so much has been taken away from us, or that we now have to deny ourselves to enable our own safety and the safety of others. It is in the absence of 'normality', of the things and ways we had come to rely on, that we are brought up short, as it were, because we have to look for a new way of being. A new means of living in an authentic way that adds value and flourishing, not only to our own lives, but to the lives of others too, is to be discovered.
This is the work in progress at the moment. We are in the process of re-cognition. Recognition of who we are now - after some of the things that support our life and lifestyle have been stripped from us. Re-cognition of the interdependence across nations; recognition perhaps of what nurtures human spirit and of that which distracts us from flourishing.
For many, these last few months, this work of re-cognition, has enabled life changing opportunities, including a greater awareness of neighbour and the needs of others. For some, this time has brought with it recognition of one's Spirit and how that might be listened to and nurtured. The sales of Bibles have increased beyond belief, but perhaps most importantly there is evidence that we are taking the time to be still, not only to think about our lives, but also to listen to the heart and spirit, even in the midst of this turmoil. I wonder if there is a chance we will change our lives driven by targets and 'doing', to lives shaped and formed by self-awareness and 'being'?
The Reverend Philip Biggs