Fr Ron Johnson
It was less than two months ago that I was preparing another ‘Mordialloc Moorings’ for a Sunday when we would not meet for worship due to being in lockdown, and here we are again. I hope that all of you are manging this time as best you can, and remaining as motivated as seems best for you. Nonetheless, I am conscious of the difficulties for all of you with the snap lockdown. Yet again, our plans have had to be put aside, events planned for cancelled (i.e. in the parish: Messy Church), for some families it means celebrations and gatherings have to be postponed, funerals are again limited, and there is the need to reorientate our Sunday services.
The experience of being in lockdown this time, much less our ongoing experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the feeling that we make two steps forward, and then seem to take three steps back, can lead us to reflect on what can we really plan for in the future, what do we have to look forward to any more?
I think it is true for all of us that the anticipation of something good ahead is often an essential part of our lives: things such as holidays, celebrations, seeing family/friends, weekends or days off. Like many I have had a ‘anticipation’ dashed by the this recent lockdown. My sister and her husband were coming to visit for a few days. That is now cancelled, and given our mutually busy shedules who knows when it might happen again. I realised in recent days I was feeling somewhat low because of diminished anticipation.
Can I look forward to anything? The answer is of course: yes. All things do pass, and one day this pandemic and its present day effects will be a memory. Perhaps a way forward is to lessen our anticipation for some future moment or event, and instead focus on this present moment. Perhaps I need to be present to the place I find myself in now, the relationships I have now, and what is before me. I find the metaphor of the ‘pilgrimage’ useful. A pilgrimage is a faith-filled journey you take, but one in which the real focus is not the end, but the steps I am taking right now, steps I am taking with God by my side. Who or what am I in that context?
Soon enough we will be back to our busyness and distraction. Take sometime to consider this moment, the future will take care of itself one way or another, given that in the end, all things are in the embarce of God’s love and presence. God’s Peace and Grace be with you,