This the third of my weekly personal reflections. Three weeks in lockdown. How are we all doing? My only child self continues to thrive, learning every day.
I have been thinking that this is the time when you find out of you picked the right life partner! When I was a Chaplain at Queens University, living with 88 students in Derryvolgie Hall, I used to preach that they shouldn’t choose their wife or husband by how they look on the dance floor but they should ask if they will still want to be with them in the rocking chair around the fire when they are 80! They won’t look so hot then!
The illustration has caught up on us. Not the dance floor but whether you could cope for 24/7 in Coronavirus Times. This is why we marry well!
In such times as these gratitude is a vital discipline. I am so grateful for how our family can cope together in lockdown! Oh it is not all sweetness and light but Janice and I are loving this time with our girls and I think they might be quite enjoying it too! We all find our own space. Then we come together and show a movie together every evening. The best 5 movies to date:
- The Hate You Give
- Breakfast Club
- Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Glory Road
We rotate and it has been great to share a few classics with our daughters though I did find, for the first time, Jerry McGuire dragged a tad in the middle!
Anyway, dog walking with Janice while running Church together from the War Room Bunker in Maryville Castle has been great. She’s an only child too! Very proud of her as she covers the congregation in phone calls. I am back to marrying well.
Exercise is not easy in Coronavirus Times. Many of you know my struggle with weight. Six years ago you journeyed with me as I ran off 5 stone. A knee injury and various other kinds of scenarios caused that all to go back on. It is constant battle.
In this lock down I have lost 9 lbs (4kg). How you might ask? Well, first of all there are not so many nibbles during visits or meetings or evening trips to Creightons for the best ice cream in the world or take aways. I have found it much easier to disciple myself and being off chocolate and chips for Lent has been made it easier!
More importantly, I have been walking over 5 miles a day. Oops, I hear you shriek, that boy is breaking the lockdown guidelines. Well, no! Last week I averaged 14,000 steps. Only 4,000 were on our daily dog walk. The other 10,000 were around the kitchen!
On every phone call, I walk. Every wee break for a game of Candy Crush, I walk. In the evening I listen to five or six songs and walk. If you saw me through the window you might think that I am mad. Before you judge, I know friends who go to gyms and while looking at the wall run in the very same spot! At least I am moving.
So, we are coping. The only fears we have are when we have to go for food. We have that down to a 10 day hunt, battling the social distancing and everything else.
Church life has taken new rhythms. A Tuesday night Zoom Prayer Meeting, Tuesday to Friday live Facebook slots at 2pm and Sunday Service.
Easter week has added pressures. To do Good Friday and Easter Sunday services adds to the work of our Fitzroy TV team. I can wing it. I am best when I wing it. You cannot wing it in studios! So, there are always fresh challenges.
I also mentioned listening to songs. For me, songs always need weight. Even more so in times like this. This week I have had a few go to songs:
Anthony Toner - She Gives Me Religion.
Anthony’s version is so therapeutic and Van’s words have inspired me:
And the angel of imagination
She lit your fiery vision bright
Let your flame burn into the night
I saw you knocking with your heart
Ben Glover - Kindness
What a beautiful prayer. I play it every day:
May you know goodness
May you know peace
May you know contentment
May you be at ease
May the road before you
Be soft beneath your feet
More than all
May this be true
May you know kindness
May kindness know you
Malojian - Singularity
The entire album is a beaut, consoling again for the times and released early that we might find benefit:
Is there anyone here
Who can heal the trembling of my heart?
If I show you my fears
Could you heal the trembling of my heart?
Hold on disease
For The Singularity.
May you… hold on…