It has finally happened.
I knew, sometime ago, that things were not right and that the demise was inevitable.
I tried to keep things going for as long as possible.
Try as I might, my laptop was getting slower.
At first, I excused it. Okay, so it was taking 10 minutes to start up in the morning – just enough time for that pre-work mug of tea.
Okay, the screen had cracked, it was part of its charm, its character.
Okay, so bits had started to break off it, they were not important, just decorative and I had gained a rugged laptop.
Despite all its failings and weaknesses, I was fond of my computer. I knew it’s quirks. I was used to it. I knew where everything was. All of my photos, documents and history were there.
After one, particularly frustrating, Zoom meeting, I took my laptop to my son and asked him how to solve my problem. His reply sent chills down my spine;
“Face facts Dad. This computer needs putting out of its misery, you have to put it down”
I heard echoes of Monty Python as I finally had to admit; this is an ex-computer, bereft of life it rests in pieces!
Just in case you were worried, this is not a blog about computers!
The saga of the computer, however, has made me think about some other issues. My change of computer made me accept that change can be both costly and painful. Sometimes, however, it is both inevitable and necessary.
That is what many of us have faced over this last year.
We have all faced enormous changes in the way we live and work. Some of those changes, whilst they were not welcome, were necessary. Some have been costly both in terms of time and energy, as well as financially.
But, not all of the changes have been negative.
We have seen people becoming more aware of the vulnerable within our communities. We have seen people support one another in different ways. We have been challenged to think more creatively in how we do things. We have also had some space to clear out some of the rubbish.
As we emerge from lockdown, the temptation for many of us is to rush back to the way we have always done things, and so forget the lessons we have learnt along the way. We need a time of honest reflection, before God, to ask “what now?” To develop my computer analogy, I cannot go back to the old machine but, some programs needed to reloaded and some needed to be ditched altogether.
How can we do this? I believe this can only come through open and honest prayer.
The kind of prayer does not involve asking God, but allows us to encounter the presence of God and allow His Spirit to speak deeply into our hearts. To explain this kind of prayer I quoted, in Church yesterday, Mother Teresa’s “business card” which says;
The fruit of silence is prayer; The fruit of prayer is faith; The fruit of faith is love; The fruit of love is service; The fruit of service is peace; This is very good business!Mother Teresa
If we are to continue to tell HIS STORY in a post-pandemic society, we must begin by embracing silence.