In the Book of Psalms, some phrases are followed by the word, “Selah.” Although the exact meaning of the word has been lost, most scholars think it indicates a pause, like a rest in a musical score. It would seem that much of our world is tasting a selah even as we fight a real war against a deadly virus. (Our prayers are with you on the front lines. The helpers. The healers, The hurting.) The rest of us are in a forced Sabbath of sorts. Confined to our homes except for essential needs and services. (Is chocolate an essential grocery item? I’m saying, “yes”.) We are prevented from traveling even as we continue working and worshiping at home. Just the loss of a commute has changed the world.
People are reporting that smog has lifted to reveal blue skies in many large cities. Seismographers tell us the very rumble of the world has slowed. And, in this surreal season, we are all examining what matters. Someone wrote this week that we are getting the chance to Marie Kondo our entire lives.
So, what will we keep?
I’m trying to ask that question and make lists of my answers.
People – keep.
Those I long to hug again and those I only know long-distance or through my computer screen. People are eternal, and I’m keeping ALL of them. (Although I may unfollow a few of the Negative Nans on social media. Love ya. But I don’t need you in my head anymore.)
Work – keep.
We were designed in the Garden of Eden to work. It was supposed to be a joy, a form of worship, a part of our relationship with God. I’m keeping work even after I retire – but, boy howdy, I may change the way I do it. We won’t make it without workers in every area of society, and I’m especially grateful to those who labor in difficult and essential fields right now. If you want to gain a new perspective on work, I recommend God at Work: Your Christian Vocation in All of Life by Vieth.
Worship – Keep
If I bring anything out of these unprecedented days, I want it to be a deeper understanding of Practicing the Presence of God as described by Brother Lawrence. He supposedly said that making a perfect omelet for the brothers in the monastery might cause him to lie down on the stone floor and worship God.
So far, that is my Keep list. Each of those has subheadings, of course. I will continue to hold things in my hands the next few weeks, thank them for their service, and then decide whether or not to keep them in my life when the doors to the world crack open again.
How about you, Dear Reader? What are you keeping?