Coronavirus: Making The Adjustment Part 2
As a University we continue to find ways to carry out our mission of educating for a Life of Faith and Service. As we move through uncertain times, we know there is great comfort in being in community. President Pistole will continue to update specifics to faculty and staff as decisions are made in conjunction with Cabinet, health experts, and guidance from federal and state leaders. Please consult the Anderson University COVID-19 page for real-time updates. If you need support, have questions/concerns, or feel unable to continue your job duties, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, please report those to email@example.com.
Each Monday, we have attempted to offer something that speaks to our shared experience, and hopefully offers some perspective. This is WorkLife: Making the Adjustment (part two):
To the degree possible don’t define your life by what you are trying to avoid; when you are in conflict between what you want to feel, and the feeling you are avoiding, be grateful. You have been given an opportunity for transformation.
These were the words that came to me when I sat down to have a conversation with my ninety-year-old self. Every so often, tap into your ninety-year-old voice, and you may find it a generous and wise counsel that compels you to pause for a moment, and know that everything will not always be this way. If you choose to, put a face to it (mine is a 90+ year neighbor on my street with the voice of Brother David Steindl-Rast). It is a voice crafted from the experience of life and the human experience of love, loss, sacrifice, and joy.
The scriptural version that predates my 90-year-old voice exercise is Ecclesiastes chapter 3. The words were adapted and put to music by Pete Seeger as Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) later recorded by The Byrds in 1965.
Forgive my picking and choosing excerpts from the text (SOTCM please look the other way), but the teacher in Ecclesiastes reminds us that things cannot, and will not, stay this way. As COVID-19 has entered this season of our lives, there is a tendency to focus on things we want to avoid. Ecclesiastes provides the space, awareness, and expectation that transformation comes through accepting that you cannot have one without the other:
There is a season for everything:
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing (wow!)
A time to tear and a time to sew;
A time to keep silent and a time for speaking;
A time to love.
Taking the lead from Ecclesiates, I invite you to write your own experience of this season with permission to feel both sides of the experience. A few of mine are:
A time for being grateful and a time to lack gratitude;
A time for action and a time to be still;
A time to come together and a time to be apart.
In such a time as this, grace to you seeker,