Padre’s Corner: Changing plans and finding joy

St. Brendan’s Chapel at Stadacona.
Photo: CFB Halifax

Changing plans and finding joy

By Padre Lt(N) Krystal Sheremeta,
Chaplain, CFB Halifax

This summer is just going to be different.

I like to think of myself as a fairly flexible person. The kind to go with the flow, who doesn’t get upset or worried by a simple change of plans. For those of us in the military, this is a necessary trait to go along with the hurry up and wait. And most days I am that person. But sometimes I’m not.

We all reach that point when we are tired of being flexible. Where we just want one thing we’ve planned to be able to happen, for sure, no “maybes” or “possiblys.” We know in our heads that this summer, in the midst of pandemic, will be unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. For ourselves and our families. And with that comes some uncertainty and yes some grief. When long held traditions of driving three provinces to get together with family won’t be happening, or the fair or festival you’ve attended every year won’t be happening, or the camp your children have been looking forward to, that sports season, that concert, all cancelled.  And replacement idea after ideas is met with, maybe we can do x? It’s ok to grieve what is missing this year. Even if in your head it seems silly in the grand scheme of things. You’re allowed to be disappointed when plans have to be changed. There is a lot that is out of our control this year. More than usual. The added uncertainty can be exhausting.

So where do we go from there? Joy. Yes, this summer will be different, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be filled with joy, with memories that are also good. Dare to try new things. Find a new path to explore a new game to play, pick up a new hobby, or a new sport to try. Seek out experiences that are not normally on your to do list, but are very much possible in todays COVID world. Camp out in your living room, build blanket forts and watch movies. Sneak out with your kids in their pyjamas at night to look at the stars. Sing songs and have dance parties.

For everything there is a season, so let yourself and your families find the joy in this one. It will be different, but allow yourself and your family to find new things you love, to explore new possibilities, and create new traditions. There will be days that are difficult, but there will also be days that are good, that are joy-filled. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.