Zoom to a cocktail party
I went to a most wonderful cocktail party this week despite the corona virus.
I can hear some of you saying, “Rick, haven’t you heard?; there is a pandemic going on! Are you crazy? What about social distancing? Aren’t you setting a bad example for a minister by violating the Mayor and Governor’s orders…not to mention all that the CDC has told the public…and wouldn’t Dr. Fauci be ashamed of you?”
Well, first let me tell you the cocktail party was held as a Zoom meeting online, and I don’t think we even exchanged a single computer virus. Second, the Zoom cocktail party was with old high school friends. Recently we celebrated a major milestone anniversary in terms of high school graduation years (I did tell my kids that when I graduated from high school it was an AD and not a BC year). A group of us– evenly divided between men and women– served on the organizing committee for this milestone reunion. The cocktail party attendees came from this group.
While our high school is located on Long Island– outside of New York City–most of us now live in other parts of the country. It was fun seeing, and hearing from, the old gang. For the record, I was drinking tea at this cocktail party.
It was interesting to see some patterns among my old friends. Many of them are now retired. All of them seemed to be in financially comfortable circumstances and in relatively good health. However, some have found the COVID-19 “lockdown” to be excruciating and painfully boring. Others have found some real joy and productive meaning in this time period– despite the uncertainty.
I started thinking: What seems to be the major differences between the two groups? As a minister, a part of me would like to say, “It was faith. My friends who have a strong sense of faith were able to overcome the fear and boredom. Those who did not have this faith have been sucked into wormhole of fear and meaninglessness.”
Faith seems to be a major ingredient. But to quote the apostle James, “Faith without works is dead!” Faith by itself does not appear to be enough. My friends who seem to combine FAITH with ACTION in Positive Activities seemed to be riding out the COVID-9 storm just fine. These folks were active in their spiritual communities and still serving– even though these activities have moved online or via phone calls. These folks were still active in their communities, even though their service has moved online, via telephone, or taken the form of delivering food, etc.
These folks have remained active in terms of physical activity. They are going for wonderful walks by the river and in the woods. These folks are reading, listening to music, doing various artistic things. These folks via their action and activities are finding meaning despite the “stay in place” orders.
So, let me make some suggestions and give some resources. Yes, by all means take advantage of Unity Center of Tulsa’s services, classes, prayer and meditation sessions online and via conference calls. Keep up an active prayer and meditation life. But also enjoy so many ways to be artistic, in the widest sense of the word, during this pandemic. A recent article in The New York Times makes wonderful suggestions of how this can be possible during the “lockdown.” (To read this article, click here.)
Also, this is a great time to read. And yes, “leaders are readers.” Another article in The New York Times makes great suggestions about using this time to enhance our reading (Click here to see this article.) And lastly. use this time to listen to great music. (Click here for suggestions.)
Of course, I wish we did not have to go through this time of pandemic. But since we are going through it, may we make the most of it.