I am writing these “Thoughts” on March 19th, 2020, the day of the vernal equinox for this year. This is the moment that the length of day and night are exactly the same. Tomorrow will see slightly more day than night, a pattern repeated until the number of daylight hours peak, and we start moving the other way. It’s a weird, complicated thing that’s due to the way our planet revolves around its tilted axis and how it travels around the sun. All I know is that today is a day of harmony between day and night. There is balance between them.
For me at least, it’s a nice thought, this idea of balance. Even though it will soon change and daytime will have a slight edge over nighttime, for an instant they balance each other off. I imagine it in my mind as a sort of solar truce between them. Neither wins; neither loses. Each gets just, fair and equal representation today.
In addition writing on the day of 2020’s vernal equinox, I’m also writing on the fourth day of my church having suspended worship and all public gatherings in the building. I’m in my office, alone, continuing to work in the midst of the rising COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s kind of weird. In so many ways, nothing seems to be happening, but connecting through phone calls and social media, people are still living their lives. Despite the worries and fears, despite the closures and voluntary self-isolation, good things are happening.
It’s all about balance. Yes, we need to worry and be a little bit afraid. These things keep us on our toes and make us aware of the risks we face. But those two emotions have to be balanced with hope and courage. We can’t control what will happen on a global scale, but we can make a difference by carrying on with our lives as best we can. A healthy bit of fear keeps us from doing anything foolish, like gathering in groups and risking exposure. Courage, on the other hand, empowers us to get up and face another day in whatever degree of setting ourselves apart we need. There is shopping to be done. Restaurants are still offering meals via take-out or delivery options. With Spring slowly making itself felt, there’s a whole outdoors waiting to be enjoyed even more than we do in winter.
Balance. Or maybe not. Maybe a little imbalance is what we need. Maybe we need to lean a little more towards the positive and hopeful, towards the courageous, towards the empowered, towards the holy and the sacred. I believe in a god of love. Jesus is not about balancing good and evil. He seeks to overcome evil’s power with love, mercy and grace. That’s how Jesus leans. Perhaps we should follow His example more closely and lean towards love and goodness, patience and kindness, mercy and care. Perfect balance is great for today, the vernal equinox. But for day to day living? I pray that we tilt the scale towards Jesus and the way he shows us how to love one another.