Unplanned inconvenient disruptions can obnoxiously be beneficial.
A little tiny virus whose identification is limited to the trained eye of a scientist through a powerful microscope, somehow had the power to shut the world down in a way that took everyone by surprise. Never underestimate the small and the simple.
Covid’s inconsiderate arrival closed schools, closed restaurants, closed my daughter’s ballet studio, closed my son’s aerial’s class, closed the National Parks, closed Churches. Everything came to a screeching halt. It was like walking out of a dark movie theater into the broad daylight blinded by the suddenness of the change. And then we started to adjust and change and evolve in the way that living things have done since the beginning of time when their way of living becomes threatened.
The unstoppable pandemic invited us to look at the way we do things and ask ourselves, “Is there a better or different or more efficient and effective way we could do this?” When I was 16 years old, I wanted to try mountain biking. There was a perfect trail only 10 minutes from house and it was calling to me. I had a heavy Huffy bike with worn brake pads, unreliable gears, and a frame with no suspension, but I didn’t know any better. I loved the challenge of pushing my burning legs to climb the hills and the thrill of the speed of racing down the dirt trial. And then I bought a new bike. A red Specialized Rock Hopper with shocks on the front fork. Within seconds of riding on the same trail that I had done dozens of times on my Huffy, I felt an incredible difference. It was surprising to me how much more capable I became with this new bike. But how often do we get so attached to the old Huffy that we become blind to the possibility that there could be another way, a better way?
This tiny uncompassionate indifferent virus created the space for us to find different ways to do school, different ways to do work, different ways to connect with those we love, different ways to workout, different ways to grocery shop, different ways to make money. Not all of those different ways were good or helpful, but some were. Some were pure genuine.
Somehow, it wasn’t until we transition from “Zoom Church” to “In Person Church” that I realized this virus also impacted my faith. Without fully being aware, covid was pressuring me to think about my faith and to ask myself, “Is there a better way I could do this? Are there some unnecessary traditions and habits that don’t serve a purpose? Are they ways in which I can relate to my faith with more meaning?”
Sometimes we need that unwelcomed new neighbor to come in and question, “Do we really need do to the ward Christmas party like this every year?” in order to create something better. And even though covid was an unwelcomed neighbor that barged into my neighborhood and was so rude as to challenge the way I was going about my faith, it had a good point.