High River United Church of High River, Alberta

Pandemics are Liberating

When I consider the pandemic as liberating, I’ve come up with four examples.


The first example: the pandemic is liberating because, it slows us down and I would suggest that’s a good thing. Of course, life is different for everyone and the dose of slowness will differ for everyone. That being said, we are at home more. We’re not beholden to the clock in quite the same way. Most of us are not darting to and fro with the same frenetic pace. Our schedules are often more spacious. For many, there’s no commute except from the kitchen to the living room. We have time for more walks with our partners and our pets.


Secondly, I think pandemics offer us the opportunity to say, “No,” more often—no to consuming goods and otherwise, no to more stuff. No to over scheduling our lives. No to unnecessary and non-essential travel. We can more easily say, “No,” to otherwise awkward social obligations. The New York Times Kristin Wong wrote in an article about the benefits of saying no. "…When we dole out an easy yes instead of a difficult no, we tend to overcommit our time, energy and finances. The pandemic helps us with our no, when we are tempted to acquiesce to a yes.”


Thirdly, the pandemic is liberating for introverts. Those who are introverts know exactly what I mean. Of course, pandemics are a kind of hell for extroverts. And you extroverts also know what I mean.


Fourthly, the pandemic is liberating because it is generative. I invite you to look around and notice the innovation, the creativity, the shift in patterns and new ways of doing things. We are learning new ways to connect. We are knitting more, writing more, painting more, inventing more. Companies are doing business in new ways. Churches are doing ministry in all manner of new ways (this I know to be especially true!).


And how about a bonus fifth example? The pandemic is liberating because we have more time to practice our spirituality—yes, to pray, to meditate, to slow the pace enough to notice the wonder of nature, to relax in the sun, to notice the clouds and the song bird’s song. To breathe.


Of course, these are challenging times and we’ve written lots about that so that we can offer you our support and love. Yet… the pandemic can be liberating for each of us as we use our time at home to slow the pace, say no to the things that don’t work for us, enjoy the world of introversion, and free our creative/generative energies. But most of all the pandemic is liberating because it offers us time to pray and tend to our soul which means life to us.


The Prophet Isaiah says, I am about to do new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:19)


Let’s be open to new and liberating possibilities, in the midst of a pandemic.


Rev. David





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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

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