As we now go into June and July, we are all looking forward to life going back, hopefully step by step, to some kind of normality as quickly and as safely as possible. To name a few things we would all, I am sure, agree on: back to school, back to work, back to leisure activities and back to seeing family and friends. But I wonder, have you had a moment to give my question from last month some thought: What would be good to not go back to normal? I mention it again as something I think we all need to keep thinking about until the way ahead becomes clear. As a reminder, here are my thoughts from last month which were mainly about personal change……are there things that you think could be added or put in a more helpful way?
Community v Individualism – life is about playing our part with other people in the place that we live
Family v Fracture – life is about appreciating each other as husband, wife, mum, dad, sister and brother
Friendship v Forgetting – life is about valuing friendship rather than forgetting to make contact
Needs v Wants – life is about focusing more on what we need than always want
Time v Rushing – life is about taking time and not always rushing to the next moment
Quality v Quantity – life is about the quality of what we have, rather than always the quantity
Creativity v Consumerism – life is about being creative, not just consuming
Contentment v Happiness – life is doing what is right and good than just our individual happiness
Love v Like – life is about the full breadth and depth of love, not just love in terms of what we like
Communication v Silence – life is about taking the initiative to make contact, not staying quiet
God v No God – life is about knowing God and trusting in him when life is uncertain
All we have been through will bring some good personal change and, I think it will also bring some good change to the groups, networks and organisations we are all part of: businesses where we work, the social/sporting/activity groups where we relax and no doubt the Christian communities where people seek to worship God and love and care for others. In other comment being written at the moment, many are saying that we will in future talk about life as being either BC (Before Coronavirus) or AC (After Coronavirus). So, another way of asking my question is: how do you think life will and should be different from BC to AC?
When a big event happens in history, it is always painful at the time, however there can be really good things that can happen through the circumstances that bring some big changes. We might wonder why the Coronavirus has happened, but my hope and prayer is that when we look back with hindsight (once we are in the AC era) we will be able to say that some really good things happened, which might not have happened otherwise. So, here are a few more thoughts of what we might say will have been good change in our businesses, social/sporting/activity groups and Christian and faith communities once we have been through this period and moved from the BC to AC era:
BC we AC we
were… are now..
Fixed v Flexible we have learned to be much more flexible with new ways of doing things
Inertia v Innovation we know how to adapt much better and have developed new business models
Offline v Online we are much more efficient and productive in our home/office working
Sprinting v Sustainable we have made changes to live more sustainably e.g., less consumption/waste
Profit v Personal we are developing a better economic model of ‘profit for people’
Imbalanced v Balanced we are better at blending work, rest and play e.g., our priorities/diary planning
Same v Varied we appreciate difference much more e.g., the local and personal
Outward v Inward we are more self-aware of who we need to be e.g., our values come first
This year of 2020, would have always been a very timely year to be taking stock to get a clearer vision of the way ahead, but with the events of recent months new vision is something that is really needed to ensure we bring some good things out of the difficult. Having ‘2020 Vision’ is a great expression and from a Christian perspective the expression ‘BC AC’ of course is also a reminder of the biggest era change that has ever taken place in the history of the world – the coming of God into the world in the human person of Jesus. The Christian’s belief is that in looking at his life we will find the ultimate answers to what a normal human life should look like. Looking at the life of Jesus is the best way to work out how we might ‘reset’ ‘re-calibrate’ and ‘re-start’ from where we have come from to where we need to go – what our new good and normal life should be.
“Jesus became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1v14
With my prayers for June and July
Revd James Hunt – Rector St Peter’s Bishop’s Waltham with Blessed Mary, Upham
19th May 2020