BEST CHOICE IN OUR NEW WORLD by Rector Chris Girata
BEST CHOICE IN OUR NEW WORLD was published in the Katy Trail Weekly, "The Good Word" Column, June 4, 2021
Chris Girata is the Rector of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Dallas, TX.
That morning, as people came in, there was a buzz in the air. Longtime friends who had been physically separated approached one another carefully. Some shook hands, while others hugged, and the joy was palpable. We sang together, prayed together, and simply were together in a way that was more than a year in the making. People laughed, tears were shed, and more than one person said it felt like resurrection, like a rebirth.
As we shift into a new world, one in which the limits of the pandemic are fading away, we are all re-learning how to be in the world again.
I bet you’re all experiencing similar moments. As we shift into a new world, one in which the limits of the pandemic are fading away, we are all re-learning how to be in the world again. This is even more true as we approach the summer, and with it, the promise of long-delayed, post-pandemic fun.
Almost all of us experienced an abrupt end to any travel plans when the quarantine began, and now that we have more freedom to get up and go, most of us will. For the first time in a long time, I bet the focus won’t be on where you go and what you do, but on who you’ll see along the way.
There is one thing I’ve heard repeated over and over again during the pandemic by friends and neighbors: people missed other people. I dare say that many discovered just how much they took others for granted, assuming they would always be there. I’m sorry that it took a global pandemic to make it clear that people matter, but perhaps this is a great learning we can take from such a difficult experience.
People matter most.
The idea that people matter more to us than we might have realized may seem, on the surface, to be a trite observation. However, I consider this moment as one that could have great significance for us. When we share a common threat, people tend to band together. The pandemic was one such common threat. As we stayed away from one another, seeking to keep one another safe, we found that people matter most.
Our world tells us something different. Our world tells us that money matters, that power matters, and, perhaps most of all, security matters. We are taught from a very early age that we are to achieve and accumulate at all costs. And yet, when we were under the weight of a global health crisis, none of that mattered more than the people from whom we were separated.
If we are willing, I believe we can learn that people hold the greatest value of all. I hope that we can take from this horrible pandemic a deep truth that money, power, and even security itself is never as important as the value of another person. We hear this basic truth echoed again and again in every great wisdom tradition of the world, and yet it’s the hardest lesson to truly learn. As we move forward out of this pandemic into a new world, I hope that we will all recognize an opportunity for rebirth in the most important ways. That when we choose how to live in our new world, we will always choose to love one another first.
"The Good Word" Column is published bi-weekly, and can be picked up at the Saint Michael South Entrance.
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