Over the course of the year, Mary and I have seen new neighbors move in on both sides of us and behind us.
It’s the way of things, isn’t it? As time passes, people come into neighborhoods and others move on. New pieces fit into the tapestry of a city block, and the same can be said of our lives as a whole. Familiar faces leave us, and we welcome new friends.
Change, whether we like it or not, is a constant feature of our human journey.
We’ve had to contend with a good amount of change this year due to the virus. Dealing with the restrictions hasn’t always been pleasant, but we have had no choice but to take on the challenge and do the best we can.
We have now ground through seven months. Here we are well into October, greeting cooler weather, pumpkins, and very soon, Halloween.
The world is still spinning, despite it all. Life continues on, thanks be to God.
If we step back and look, these seven months, in an important sense, really haven’t been all that different. Some circumstances, of course, are new to us. We’ve had to amend some habits, and do without some things.
But at the beginning of each morning from March to now, our purpose as followers of Christ has not changed. Our mission as believers is the same as it always has been, to open ourselves to whatever task God has in store for us that day, and ask His help to perform our work to the best of our ability.
There is no virus, no politician, no government mandate, no worldly concern of any kind powerful enough to hinder that truth—unless we allow it to divert our attention from Jesus Christ.
We are in this world, but we are not of this world. We are a pilgrim people, called to love those around us as we make our way toward the paradise waiting at the end of our human journey.
Much can be learned if we put ourselves in Simon Peter’s shoes, out on the sea in a stormy night. Peter got out of the boat and began walking on water toward Jesus. He was doing fine as long as he kept his attention fixed upon his savior. Peter failed the test of faith and sank when he began fearing the storms raging around him.
If we keep our focus squarely on the straight and narrow, we have no reason to be alarmed about whatever change life throws at us. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we fear no evil.
And we keep walking.
Michael Clapp is deacon at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Mayfield.