“Desperate days are the stepping stones on the path to light…our faith did not create our desperate days. Faith’s work is to sustain us through those days and to solve them.”L. B. Cowman Streams in the Desert
When we are longing for human connection after being deprived of it for so long, it puts our previous daily life into sharp focus, and makes us feel a sense of gratitude for what once was. I’d like to revisit two previously mentioned concepts to you, kindreds, in the form of a “cross curricular” tie to the previously understood concepts of ‘B.C.’ and ‘A.D.’
According to my research, Julius Caesar (100-44 BCE) reformed the calendar and renamed the months during his reign (49-44 BCE). This calendar remained in use, with periodic revisions, until 1582 CE when Pope Gregory XIII instituted the Gregorian Calendar still in use in the present day. Christians used the Anno Mundi calendar and the Roman calendar in the early years of the faith. In c. 525 CE, however, a new concept in dating was introduced by a monk named Dionysius Exiguus (c. 470-544 CE) which provided the groundwork for the later dating system of BC/AD. —Ancient Encyclopedia-
Simply put, we understand B.C. to signify “Before Christ,” and A.D. to translate into “Anno Domini,” or “The Year of Lord,” when Christ was born and lived (Dionysius had trouble establishing an exact historical date for his birth, wavering between 4 or 7 B.C.E.) So, shifting the history/biblical context to the side, here’s where I come in.
I’m going to refocus our lens and examine the time we are in right now as “Before Corona(virus)” and “After (Social) Distancing,” in an effort to lay specific emphasis on the daily comforts we took for granted ‘B.C.,’ and our hope for the return, and readjustment, of those aspects ‘A.D.’
When we live daily life from bed-to-work-to-bed cycle that feels a lot like the directions on the back of your shampoo bottle—‘Lather.Rise.Repeat.’—little time is given to take off the blinders and really appreciate our blessings. Emerson, a Transcendental from a century long past, says you should
“Congratulate yourself if you have broken the monotony of the conventional age.”-RWE-
So, get out of the “rat race”; like so many have mentioned to me in these weeks away from it, there is now time to do what gets lost by the wayside of a hurried life. I read a post online, after completing my morning devotional, about a family who cooked a mid-Corona Thanksgiving dinner, with all the trimmings—even pie, and two things flashed in my mind:
1–Should we really be concocting such a banquet that encompasses the contents of our fridge at a time when our grocery stores are being ravaged like we are preparing for a Category-5 hurricane or doomsday hoarding for the impending Zombie Apocalypse?
2-WHY NOT celebrate what we are thankful for, surrounded by our closest family, in the comfort of our own dwelling places?
When I stayed over at my Gram’s house as a young girl, I remember watching the Disney film, “Pollyanna.” The story centered around the young and precocious orphan girl, played by Hayley Mills (also of the original, “The Parent Trap”), who comes to live with her stuffy Aunt Polly, and makes it her mission to remind the entire town to play the “glad game” when they’re feeling blue.
Here’s our daily challenge: be glad, no matter what befalls us now, and continue to do so into ‘A.D.’ when we can walk out the door, unafraid of a virus.
I am grateful to hear of the triumphs during this setback: for the people of Beijing who are finally hearing birds chirruping out their windows, instead of the blare of traffic; for fish returning to the canals of Venice, as the ceasing of boats meant the waterways cleared; for people singing from their balconies and holding rooftop yoga sessions with total neighborhood strangers, who now feel like friends; for the artists, musicians, celebrities, athletes, teachers, and many more, offering up their “free” ‘stay at home’ time to share their gifts with the youth of America and the world. These ALL could have been happening ‘B.C.’ but we got lost in ourselves, hummingbird-paced wings flying to and fro and never pausing to look up.
I leave you with this bit from my devotional, as it seems very fitting:
“He placed me in a little cage, away from gardens fair, but I must sing the sweetest songs because He placed me there. Not beat my wings against the cage, but raise my voice to heaven’s gate and sing the louder still.”-L.B. Cowman, Streams in the Desert
Play the “glad game,” kindreds, because it will, like a mirror, reflect your blessings to you, and give you hope for what’s on the other side of today.
~Kindred Spirit~ 3.26.2020