I know we’ve all heard the saying: Time flies when you’re having fun. Time flies whether you’re having fun or not. The past year has been strange, scary, devastating, historic. I can probably think of a few other adjectives to add color to it, but I’ll leave that up to you.
Our church recently did a virtual celebration of our pastor’s 43rd anniversary. The program was shown on YouTube, Facebook, and the church’s website. As I watched with gratitude the tributes given to C. Dennis Edwards for all he’s done as leader of a grateful flock, my thought process was triggered by something his wife, Corley Edwards said as they shared a few words of gratitude. She said things have really changed during the time we’ve not been meeting in the church building. (That’s not a direct quote.) She referred to the growth some babies had experienced. We had our last physical worship service for the entire congregation on March 15, 2020. Any child born around that time was a walking toddler by the time of our pastor’s anniversary May 15, 2021. Being sequestered in our homes for the most part for the past year, we couldn’t see changes in newborns as they grew. Now we see what seems to be a young stranger in our congregation. A year always passes after our little blue ball circles around its star 365 times, but that complete revolution seems quicker when we’re not able to physically witness markers on our journey.
Our congregation is a bit old. If I were to guess an average age, it would be about 45 to 50. It’s always a traumatic experience when someone in our church passes on to meet the creator face to face; however, it’s not unusual. We all know older people have many more years behind them than in front. It gives one a sense of being detached from a family dynamic when word of church members passing is shared in email, text, and phone calls, and you’re not able to participate in the rituals surrounding the passing of someone you know. Many have passed on in our congregation during the year 2020, as well as these first few months of 2021.
When we do begin meeting together physically, we won’t be doing things the same anymore. There will be measures in place to provide a safer worship experience, even though the viral grim reaper will not be as prolific as before. Many of us will probably catch ourselves looking to the front, either side and behind for that member who is no longer there. Their absence will lessen our fellowship experience. It will take some time to make an adjustment to the imbalance.
A lot can happen in about a year and half, and it seems to happen faster, because time takes wings given a set of certain circumstances. My church, my city, my country is minus almost 600,000 souls over the last, roughly year and a half. Times flies whether you’re having fun or not.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.