As we find ourselves in increasingly isolated times, self-imposed though they may be, I think many of us have found more time on our hands than we ever thought we would have. We begged and pleaded for it, whether to sleep, read, make it to the gym, cook healthy meals, read the bible more than three times a year (maybe that one is just me), or whatever it may have been. And now that we have it, it seems we don’t know to do with our most requested gift.
As we burrow deeper and deeper into our quarantine caves (at least that’s what my apartment has become), I hope that we have found some time to burrow deeper into ourselves as well. When we go about our day to day life, we find ourselves immersed in events, some of which are trivial, some of which are important and some of which fall in between. These events, and the ubiquity of people around us, we find time for introspection to be very limited, if something that happens at all. When we do have some alone time, whether it be a commute, a few moments in the bathroom after taking the morning shower, watching the coffee percolate, or whatever may have you, those moments are often so rare that we take them as a release valve, as a moment to decompress and not think. With weeks of decompression now underway, and weeks more seeming to loom ahead, perhaps it is time that we again think.
One of the things that I think many of us will be thinking about during this time of the year is Easter – whatever Easter may mean to you. Whether it means the resurrection of Christ, a day where you get some delicious chocolate, a day where a majority group of American culture celebrates their religious holiday while your religious holidays constantly get overshadowed and ignored, or simply another Sunday, it can be a time for us to look inward.
When I think about this Sunday, Easter Sunday, I think about the story of a man who was resurrected. A man who was not only resurrected, but a man who is purported to have given our souls eternal freedom. If that sounds like something that is way too good to be true, don’t worry. I think the same thing every single time that that idea pops up in conversation or finds its way into my thoughts. I feel like it is selfish to hope for something after this, when I am already so incredibly lucky, so unbelievably fortunate, to find myself where I am today. Adopted, sober, brother to two wonderful sisters and son to two incredible parents, boyfriend of a woman who loves me; it seems like the most incredibly self-conceited and selfish thing to believe that there is a place, far outside my understanding, that is even better than what I have now.
And that leads me back to introspection, to quarantine as a place to find that time to delve into our own inner cave. Perhaps I need to find the spot inside of me that makes me think that it is selfish to hope for something after this. I do not think of eternal life as hopeful, or idealistic (in the positive sense of that word), realistic, inevitable, or anything else. I think of it as selfish, and I am confident that there is a reason for that. When you think of a place after this one, a place where we are one with our idea of a Deity, of God, I am sure that there is a thought that jumps to your mind before any other. And there is a reason for that, just like there is a reason for my thought.
Perhaps, as Easter Sunday finds its way into our homes, and we find ourselves with another day to think, this season of contemplation can become a time to discover what your reaction to eternal life represents.