My neighbor Rick is a retired homicide detective. Nearly every workday for 25 years Rick went to crime scenes where someone had been murdered. While you might expect that Rick would be quite hardboiled after such a grisly career, he is a very gentle, sensitive man. He cried when he learned that one of our neighbor’s dogs had died.
I heard a spiritual teacher liken our current world situation to two railroad trains leaving the station at the same time, in directions at a slight angle to each other. As the trains depart the station, they are close to one another, so if you wished to transfer from one train to the other, you could jump the short distance.
As the trains proceed on their different tracks, they move farther and farther apart. The distance between the trains increases until it would be impossible for you to jump from one to the other.
The world seems to be in the worst condition it has ever been. A global pandemic, uncertain economy, restriction of movement, racial injustice, crazy politics, war, and so many adverse conditions make us feel powerless, unsettled, and fearful of the future. How did we get into this mess? More important, how can we get out?
As I was entering a local grocery store, a sign caught my eye: “These are our temporary hours ——until the world goes back to normal.” While part of me felt relieved at the prospect of the world going back to normal, part of me felt disappointed. I don’t want the world to go back to normal.
The world is not the same place it was just a few months ago. The pandemic and economic downturn have put humanity’s activities on pause and caused nearly everyone to make significant lifestyle changes. We are required to stay home, conduct business from our living room, homeschool, and face family issues we have shoved under the rug for a long time. We are commanded to not touch each other or our faces. Just a short time ago no one imagined any of this would happen.