I have heard the word “inconvenient” used twice within a few minutes of each other recently from two very different sources. Inconvenience isn’t a word I normally pay too much attention to, but this time I did, as the contrast and irony struck me.
Certainly, there are many in these times of COVID-19 that are on the front line every day 24/7 on behalf of the rest of us and for that we are extremely grateful. We wish them and their families the very best as we work through this.
But many of us, if not the majority, are coping in different ways. For me it was listening to a short video on preparing for Lent at the biggest time of the Christian year, unable to attend services; and listening to a briefing from expert doctors on containing the virus.
In the case of the virus, we are asked to do certain things such as stepping up our hygiene and sanitizing, categorized by many as an inconvenience. The truth behind that is this inconvenience is, in fact, a matter of life and death on a grander scale. The big picture isn’t always in focus because we are human and in our own world, thinking about how things affect us and our families.
The other use of the word inconvenience was used in a video talking about Lenten preparation and how many times we may view the teachings of Jesus as inconvenient. Why do I need to follow the 10 Commandments, be nice to my neighbor when they’re not so nice to me. It’s inconvenient to adapt or work a little harder at listening and following Jesus’ example. Now and then, I get caught up in my human emotions, petty jealousies and lose sight of the end game.
A dear friend told me how he and his daughter were coping, as he and I were closing our phone conversation, he said “make tomorrow different, make it stand out”. A pretty good idea when each day runs together and can begin to feel like Groundhog Day, reliving the same day over and over.
So my point is, should we complain about being inconvenienced when in both cases better hygiene or better Easter preparation is about a more fulfilling, long-lasting life; it’s about more than today, it’s about a much larger context, how we are part of a much larger community, albeit we can play a significant role, it’s about what we do and our ability to impact the community as a whole.
I certainly need to work on these and my compliance re both aforementioned examples.
So, when things get too convenient or we get a little complacent remind ourselves, how far a little inconvenience can go, and that inconvenience may be an invitation.