If the Coronavirus/Covid19 has taught me anything, it’s to not put stuff off. This is not the first time I’ve broached this subject with you and it probably won’t be the last, yet many of us are still figuring we have a million tomorrows. Trust me, friends, we don’t.
Last week in an online session on ZOOM, I asked participants one of those “learn something new about your colleagues” reflection questions. I asked, “If you could have breakfast with any person, living or dead, who would it be and why?” Like every other time I’ve asked, the replies were nearly identical.
I chose Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and mentioned her place in history as a trailblazer and founder of Bethune Cookman University. I mentioned her friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt and their legendary work. Another person chose Mrs. Roosevelt but everyone else chose a parent, spouse, grandparents, or child.
They shared deep regret that they hadn’t listened closely or followed the wisdom of their elders when they had the opportunity. They said they’d love to have more time to sit at the feet of the wise and learn.
I am thankful that this sheltering in place has given us some unexpected time to be together, to learn about our family, origins, to hear the stories, and to simply slow down. I’ve enjoyed making meals and the slower pace, and in phone and online conversations, the sentiment has been the same.
As this week leading into this holiest of seasons rolls in, many of us are working from home and most of the in-person Holy Week and Easter services have been cancelled, therefore, we aren’t distracted by those *dreaded speeches, frocks, and shopping. Our big family dinners with the generations has been postponed so we have a perfect opportunity to say those things we need to say, to mend the brokenness we caused or are party to, and to begin the journey toward healing and wholeness.
Let’s be honest. Most of us are hurting or suffering one way or another–a life-threatening illness, Covid 19-related job loss, forced layoffs, the death of a family member and rules that kept you apart without a proper farewell–whatever it is, the Serenity prayer is a good place to start.
Credited to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, these familiar words are timeless: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Courage, wisdom, and serenity are the difference between peace of mind and anxiety brought on by uncertainty and fear. We cannot change the rules that have us sheltered in place, but we can create games and activities and make ourselves content. We can take a walk and admire the pretty flowers and budding trees instead of complaining about allergies and pollen.
Wisdom won’t automatically appear but being distracted by the wonder of spring and Easter will remind us to be thankful and contemplative as the true meaning of Easter sinks in. Holy Week, this time leading up to Easter, isn’t just another week in the month. I pray that this will be a sacred time, a time when we find meaning and purpose in/for our lives, when we make an extra effort to become better neighbors and friends, and better stewards of our gifts and creation.
*Growing up, we had speeches for recitation on Easter. I’d feverishly practice but always forgot part of it. The last time I decided to sing–one song turned into four. Yes, it was as ugly as it sounds. Be blessed on Easter and every day!
Share your insights and reflections on this Holy Week with me at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook!
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.