How has lockdown been for me? What are my impressions? Someone suggested to me that I approach this from the angle of adventure and in some ways I can, but I am not going to use this as an opportunity to tell you an adventure story…you can wait for that as its best done in person.
I have not suffered during this lockdown, and I am including from anxiety. I cannot pretend that the lockdown has impacted me in the same way as it has impacted millions of the poorest members of society. I have not had to wonder about money or food running out. While it might be true to say that I would be foolish to think that my job is secure, I also don’t have to worry about that in the same way as many people who almost certainly will lose theirs through the impact this has had on small and medium-sized businesses country-wide.
Rather, during a time like this, I see it as an opportunity to shift focus to other areas. For many of us, work dominates a major part of our lives and we struggle to balance other areas that should be as or more important. Importantly, this includes family. I have had the opportunity to spend more time with my wife, Kate, and my daughter Micaela, than ever before because I am basically always at home. These times when Micaela is growing up pass quickly, and they cannot be relived. They are developmental times, and it is really special to see those changes as she faces the challenges of walking and working towards her first words. They are times to be relaxed, to talk, and to just be around one-another.
This also includes time to just catch up with things that you put off because you are busy elsewhere with work. You may catch up with your hobbies, or you may develop a new hobby or skill. You may even look at this as a time to consider your goals. You are living in an increasingly competitive world that you will be stepping out into in the next couple of years. Do you have goals? Are you well equipped with the right skills? Do you even know what skills are needed? There is nothing stopping you from taking stock and considering what goals you really have. And what skills you could need. Can you achieve any of those skills from home? Chances are, many skills can be worked towards from home if you use the internet, especially the YouTube platform to guide yourself.
But what if your goals are sports related as well? You have been encouraged to take part in sports-related activity during the lockdown period, but your response may have been something like…’there is no real point because there is no astro around, no team-mates, and there are no fixtures’. True. But personal skills are part of the deal, and when you emerge from the tunnel of lockdown into the light, you will play. To use hockey as the example, the best players are:
- Have stamina
- Have good ball skills
- Have refined their position but are useful elsewhere
- Conditioned against injury
- Have a sense for group tactics
- Have a sense for team spirit on and off the field
My bet is that no one ticks all those boxes. But the best player can work towards ticking a box or boxes that they know need ticking. So why don’t you? You can work at many of these in your home or in your yard. I have a niggling injury that was affecting my kayaking last term. The lockdown provided an opportunity to rest and to see if I could work at rehabilitating it. That is not time wasted.
To use an analogy from adventure…the time taken waiting in a tent for a storm to pass is not time wasted. For one, it is wise and safe, but it is also a time of physical and mental recovery, and a time to plan ahead in such a way as to increase the chance of achieving your goal. So, again, what are your goals?
But above all, lockdown can be likened to a wilderness experience. Biblically, it would seem that a wilderness experience is important. Instant social gratification is removed. We see Moses spending 40 days on Mount Sinai, we see Elijah having a wilderness experience at Horeb for 40 days, and we see Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days as well. Well, as I write this, we are not far from our own proverbial 40 days.
But the purpose of these three examples of wilderness experiences was to spend more time with God, often at a pivotal time in their lives. COVID-19 is not really in the hands of man. If it was there would not be any COVID-19. Any control of COVID-19 has been through that which God has blessed us with anyway, and what I mean by that is that, as an example, the immune systems of the survivors of COVID-19 are a gift from God – no man made your immune system. And that is a small example. Do you see COVID-19 as part of a world fallen in sin? Do you see the need for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the face of the enormity of sin? Concerning the 200 000 deaths due to COVID-19, have you thought about where these people have gone…. where are their souls?
The point is this: Who is God to you in your lockdown period? Have you read his word? Have you prayed? For yourself, for your friends, for the poor, and for your leaders? Have you prayed for Treverton and especially your headmaster who has had to navigate a very difficult scenario?
This is a great opportunity for that kind of connection. We, as the staff, have been able to meet for prayer every day at 5:00pm. And what a wonderful thing that is. You could do much the same.
Mr Derek Brown (Head of Life Sciences – College)