Hello friends! Life had been changing at all kinds of crazy lately, and I’m starting to think about it in terms of “before” and “after”, although we haven’t really got to after yet . . . we’re still somewhere in the middle if COVID-19. Intentional perspective in my narrowed world is becoming increasingly important. Maybe it is in yours, too. With each change, each directive the state leaders issue trying to contain the spread, its easy to feel like we’re being pushed into smaller and smaller boxes: reducing the size of public gatherings, working from home, and finally today (for Minnesota) sheltering in place. I’m an introvert, so I will admit that I’m not stressed (yet) about being at home for more hours than normal. I really love the people I live with and I’ve got a home to-do-list that is longer than I am tall. I also have a pile of library books the size of a small child weighing down one end of my desk – between reading, lesson preparation, and projects there is no reason for boredom to be part of my reality at any point in the next two weeks.
However, taking a stay-cation and needing to stay home to help reduce the spread of a virus are two different things and I can see the potential for even the strongest of introverts experiencing a little anxiety and stress by the smaller world.
So when a coworker emailed me a link to a creative project the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra posted on YouTube, I intentionally saved it to share with you just before the weekend. Their mini gift to the world – which was not a quick five minute project, but hours of collaboration and editing – is an inspiring example of thinking outside the box to deliver hope and joy. I was inspired by how they chose to think outside the box to figure out how to stay connected with their fellow musicians and then extended that connection in order to share their gift with the world stuck at home. They could have seen it as being stuck, too, but they decided to find freedom in the boundaries and their world grew.
So go watch their cover of Beethoven’s 9th – I don’t think it was an accident that they picked the movement known as Ode to Joy. While you listen, think about how you can use your gifts to bring someone else joy. Let me a comment and share your ideas – because God gave us unique and different gifts so we could be stronger together.