Old dogs are not known for learning new tricks. And let’s face it, we all have some old dog in us.
That said, an old dog stuffed into a cage for weeks on end will be pretty creative about finding a way to get out and, failing that, to survive.
And no, I am not talking about Sofee, who played a star role in the children’s time on Sunday as well as getting herself on the blooper reel by barking hard while I was recording the message. (Great edit there, Derek).
This old dog needs to begin by retracting the statement that I don’t think I can preach to a camera. I am actually going to swing hard to the other end of the pendulum and say that I am not sure I can come back to live. I may have to send in a video message even when we are able to be together. Think about it. I would have the same weekend as everybody else. I could worship along with you and not be practicing mental distancing (being physically present but thinking about something else) on Sunday mornings. And I could continue to wake up on Monday mornings ready for a new week. Oh, this is not about me? Alright, but if you want access to my dreams…there it is. You would benefit too, of course, because no mental and emotional distancing makes for much better pastoral conversations on a Sunday morning.
But fear not, that is just whimsy. It is clear that we want what we know. Response to online worship has general pushed in the direction of “help it feel as normal as possible” and “this is not the time to teach us old dogs’ new tricks.” As much as we are able to adapt because we have to, we are even better at slipping back to the old normal.
I am having no trouble keeping up my personal workout and stretching routine at home and alone now, but I suspect that post-isolation I will need competitive peer pressure and the cost of a gym membership to keep me going.
I don’t miss picking up coffee (and a donut, in honour of my dad of course) or getting fast food or restaurant food. But I doubt I will stay home and eat my vegetables when the cage is opened. Ruth Ann and I won’t likely continue our present habit of fruit salad before worship and an omelet after either. And we won’t do crazy amounts of puzzles anymore, or go for a walk every single day, or have excessive numbers of Zoom meetings…but I will remember that if I need to go away for a weekend, I could always just mail it in by recording a sermon on Friday.