It’s a Time to Embrace Change
I have struggled with lower back pain ever since I tried impressing some girls during my early teens. I remember that day so clearly. I was pedalling along on my BMX bike and a girl whom I fancied passed me on her way to the corner shop.
“I just have to impress her”, I thought. For weeks prior to that, I had been practising some mean flips, twists and wheelies. I thought that would be a way of wooing the neighbourhood beauty.
As she passed I did one or two twists and flips but my excitement got the better of me when I lifted too high for the wheelie. I fell flat on my back, knocking the wind out of me.
Besides the embarrassment, I was in a lot of pain. I did the manly thing and yelled “Mommy”. For some reason, the girl was never really interested in me after that.
The pain eventually subsided, and as I continued to up my fitness through cross-country, athletics and weight training, the lower back problem never really affected me.
That was until one day in my early twenties I decided to lift my motorbike up at the back, because I didn’t feel like turning the handlebar to straighten it out in our garage.
A pull, a twist, and the lower back pain returned—and it was uglier and nastier than before. Just breathing was difficult, and I walked as though I was in my late nineties. All the doctor could do was give me some pain and anti-inflammatory medication.
Again, the pain subsided, but it returned with a vengeance last year. It was probably the rush of trying to work, maintain a household, carry a baby, and “bulking-up” as much as I could.
But as we entered lockdown and we needed to look at life differently, I decided to ease off and to re-evaluate the way I had been treating my body.
Then, as I browsed on YouTube, I stumbled across some yoga videos. After a few days’ thought, I decided to slow down, to focus on my breathing and to do a couple of yoga sessions, under the tuition of YouTube.
And? And I feel fantastic! The lower back pain had subsided substantially. And slowing down has given me a of the Gospel.
It has given us a chance as Church to heal, to draw closer to God, and to in the stillness of our lives have deeper conversations with him, and to hear him speaking into our lives.
I miss the fellowship of my fellow brothers and sisters, but lockdown has given us the opportunity to look at how we do Church differently.
Perhaps we had complicated things too much with the gold ornamented vestments and traditional organ music. Perhaps we had lost our focus on God by trying to “stick to the book”.
Perhaps it’s time we go back to the basics of worship.
Perhaps it’s time for us in the stillness of the world to begin to fellowship once again as the early Christians did.
Perhaps it’s a time for our priests to get out of the comfort of their churches and celebrate Mass in the homes of the faithful, and for small faith-sharing communities and groups to help in the discernment process of you and I.
And as we begin to understand the ways in which the Apostles and early Christians praised and worshipped our God, we too grow in this understanding and knowledge of our faith through this media platform.
This week marks the end for The Southern Cross as a weekly newspaper as it transitions to the format of a monthly magazine. It’s a time for us Catholics to embrace the change, to support in the stillness (and even when things get busier again) a new format of the Catholic media platform we know and love.
I hope that as we build a stronger relationship with Christ, we will also yearn for more knowledge in our faith and to continue supporting The Southern Cross in another format.
And in that support, may we be as the early Christians and spread the Good News through this medium, for it may have the answers so many are seeking.