In times that feel unendingly hard – Dr. Theresa Tam was not wrong when she said that the fight against COVID-19 would be a marathon. She said that, to the best of my recollection, sometime in April or May last year. It was a long, long time ago. It comes back to my thoughts regularly. Because it’s not just a marathon we are in, it’s one we hadn’t trained for. The secret to completing a long distance run is training – doing it again and again, raising and lowering your distance, so that you get used to the strain it is on your body.
I think we can all agree that we don’t want to do this again any time soon. But when you haven’t trained, that’s when injury can occur.
We are in a marathon for which none of us have trained. And it’s painful, and it’s exhausting, and I hate to say it – in my context at least – it’s still pretty far from over.
So what do we do when we are hurting, when it feels unending, when we are exhausted?
We hold to hope.
As Andy Dufrasne in the Shawshank Redemption remarked, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.“
So let’s spend some time thinking about things that give us hope. Let me make you a list: the snowdrops I found on yesterdays walk, which means that Spring is on its way; the text from a friend telling me he had gotten his vaccine, which means that one more person I care about is protected from the virus; the longer days, which mean in the not too distant future it will be warm enough for balcony time; the prayers and words of support from congregants and friends, which mean I am not alone and I am cared for; the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, which mans I have never been unloved.
I encourage you to make your own list – and feel your spirit brighten as you do.
Until tomorrow, dear friends, hold to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful!