My kids don’t understand roadmaps. Or perhaps what they don’t understand is my generation’s need of them. They are antiquated, hard to fold, often outdated pieces of paper stuffed in those side pockets of your car.
On our trip to DC a few years ago we became lost. Seven lanes of highway traffic, torrential rain, and signs that seemed non existent. We did have my phone, turned off because of roaming charges and I wasn’t too good at the gps tracker anyway.
So we allowed one call, phoning our son, map rustling in the background, and he says, incredulously, you are using a paper map? Yup. We were attempting to!
It seems to me we are all looking for a map these days, direction for living in messy times. If we could have prepared for this pandemic and all the ramifications would we be doing better? There are no maps for this.
I do take comfort in those who have studied the science of epidemiology, and have spent years speculating and planning on what could happen if a pandemic hit. I have a lot of respect for these medical scientists who are leading the way in helping us. But they too are learning as they go, as this silent virus behaves in ways none of us can predict. Even the experts.
In BC we are especially privileged to have Dr. Bonnie Henry, Minister Dix and their teams working tirelessly to keep our province safe. And they also acknowledge the mental health challenges, the devastating opioid crisis, the economic impact. I am grateful for good leaders.
What has dismayed me more is the polarization I see everywhere, There are strong opinions on how we should negotiate the pandemic, politics, racial tensions and even how we should do church in these times. It is wearying.
I recognize I have my own opinions. It makes sense to me that I follow directions set out before us. We are a privileged lot and I believe that we need to respond to our leaders with respect and gratitude. I am dismayed when Christians think their rights to meet or gather or wear a mask are more important than laws created to care for us all. We are all limited in these times. I am thankful there are many ways we are creatively connecting even when we are apart!
I have heard many times that Christians see the Bible as a road map. I do love the Bible, and I quote it often. I seek to understand it. But no where do I see specific directives for living in a time such as this. People over the centuries have used and interpreted the Bible to back up their point of view. I have come to the place where I believe that is misuse of something precious and holy. I see the affected, those who are disillusioned by religion, or church, especially when it has been used as a weapon.
Instead, I have come to believe that it is Jesus I look to for direction – the way I should go. And he says quite clearly what the important things to remember are: to love God with all your heart, and to love your neighbour as yourself.
So I came up with a simple road map that works for me. Words to live by.
Prayer is key, asking for wisdom, for Gods way rather than my own. I choose to live well, again asking for wisdom. Each day is a gift and opportunity to celebrate that gift. Moments are to be cherished. I also choose love. Love over hate, love those who are different than I, love all without condition. And I threw in laughter. Sometimes it is that saving grace when we can laugh at ourselves, and lighten the load. A good laugh is great medicine.
What words would you use on a road map for life? My thoughts this week, fun to illustrate.
road map, drawn by Grace
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