To everything turn, turn, turn,
There is a season turn, turn, turn
and a time to every purpose under heaven.
(Turn! Turn! Turn! Lyrics ‘The Byrds’)
In the early stages of our ’social isolation’, this song posed the question to me, ‘What time is this?’ Answers are suggested in the lyrics:
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.
Many of these are relevant, but my interest was in one that seems counter-intuitive: ‘A time to build up.’
In normal times, I can’t have longer conversations with everyone I meet in our community groups. There are many, for example, who join our bush walks. I would love to know more about them, but I just can’t get to talk to each one for very long. Besides, it’s a time to relax and reconnect with nature and ourselves, so talking about the deeper, often heavier, issues of life can work against that regenerative process. Phoning these people after a walk may well be considered intrusive. But now, in this changed season, I have both the time and the chance to get to know some of these people better. It’s a peculiar, stressful time where extra connection is often appreciated and many people have more time on their hands too. It’s an opportunity to reconnect, at a deeper level.
Whereas your life is different to mine, do you have people in your life who you have ‘let go’ - not intentionally - but due to changed circumstances, or because you have been too busy? Why not try reconnecting with them now? I sense this is a time when a call ‘wondering how you are going?’ can refresh a relationship.
Let’s not let this ‘time to reconnect’ pass unfruitfully. Take the risk and reach out to your friend or family member to experience the joy of a restored relationship. Be careful to maintain it when ‘normal life’ recommences. This may require the next ‘time’ – ‘to break down’ the elements of your life that no longer serve you well.
The articles here are currently written by Liam McKenna, Lane Cove Community Chaplain.