Have you ever turned a corner and almost run into someone? Often, turning a corner in a busy work environment, on city sidewalks, or even in a home hallway is an uneventful experience. Sometimes, however, it is not. Anyone who has ever walked right into someone else coming the other direction around a bend, or collided with, or tripped over, an unseen object around a corner, knows the awkward and unpleasant, sometimes painful, feeling that comes from such a mishap.
We are, as a world population, a nation, and as a local community of faith, preparing to turn a corner to a post-pandemic world. What will that be like? As much as I like to think that it will be no large matter, I cannot help but worry that something else lies around the bend we cannot see. Is something there that will trip us up? Is something, or someone, coming the other way we do not expect?
The crazy truth is that the answer to that question, in many ways, is always “yes”. As much as we would like to, especially in cases like playing the lottery, predict the future, we are not so blessed. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic crept up on an unsuspecting and unprepared world, there is always something ahead we do not, and cannot, know about. Yes, leadership at all levels from the North Fayette UMC Board of Servants to the United Nations are all trying to plan months, seasons, and years ahead, but even those plans must be flexible and able to adapt to varying conditions.
In addition, there are known variables, such as the changes in our congregation’s age, leadership, health, and composition, that have changed much since the last time this church has met. We cannot, as much as we want to, assume that when we reconvene everything will be going back to the exact way things were before the pandemic started. Things are not going to be the same because we are not the same. We are older; we are wiser; we are different than we were a year ago.
As we prepare to turn the corner on the global health crisis, we trepidatiously peek around the corner to try and see what is next only to have our view partially obstructed by a busy sidewalk, full of hustle and bustle, with another corner to go around at the end of the next block. It is with faith we take the next step, placing our safety, health, and success of our mission in the hands of the one who set us on our journey, our savior and lord Jesus Christ. Friends, put on your shoes and jackets; after many months, it is almost time to open the door and step outside.
See you soon, Rev. John