It may be said that humanity is currently living in the Season of Twenty-one. In numerology, twenty-one denotes ultimate fulfillment of a long and arduous process of spiritual transformation. We are collectively being called to become citizens of the twenty-first century, living in the year 2021 means learning to navigate cyberspace alongside our psychic space. Some of you may remember the looping 9+10 Vine video that popularized the number twenty-one amongst our youngsters. This inaccurate answer to a math problem led to remixes and other parody on Instagram, Twitter and iFunny. We, educators and parents, could not escape. Middle school students laughed and laughed as their clowning peers answered “21” repeatedly to any question posed. As I pondered on this cyber-phenomenon, I felt compelled to pause and remark on patterns related to this number and its possible significance to those of us living in the twenty-first century.
Ecclesiastes, one of the books of wisdom, is the twenty-first book of the Bible. Ecclesiastes reminds us that “to everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. A time to weep a time to laugh, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to mourn a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8). Let’s take a moment to notice how situations that are seemingly full of contradictions can offer a time of transformation, reorienting us so we make better moves toward the fulfillment of our mission on this planet.
COVID-19 has been called the great reset. Yes, we are in a season of pause. We have been challenged to examine how we’ve been living a loop. We’ve repeated our routines to such an extent that we’ve lost perspective. We started neglecting the things that make our time here on Earth worthwhile. For too long we had neglected to properly nourish our bodies, nurture key relationships, and connect with our spirit.
This pandemic has popularized certain contradictions that we cannot help but notice. The chief of which is the oxymoronic idea of social distance. Many have asked how is it possible to do both? We are humans, so we find creative solutions to contradictions. We have lost hundreds of thousands over the last few months, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many of us almost lost our minds, as we scrambled to make sense of this pandemic, public displays of violence and how life is no longer business as usual. We have been called to pause so we can mourn as we demand justice for all human beings. Paradoxically, we have also been called to pause and DANCE. Kamala Harris, Amanda Gorman have given us all a reason to dance, a reason to hope in this season of pause (#Black Girl Magic).
This pandemic marks a significant season and has been a turning point for many of us. Lockdowns, unemployment, illness are life altering events which challenge us to simply pause. These events often draw us into a space of deep reflection, a place of the dreaded silence. We’re accepting a time to ponder and explore the subsoil of our soul. What happened to those forgotten dreams? We find ourselves searching for our true mission. Times of pause demand that we slow down, tune our ears to better listen to the silence. Many of us have been wired to crave the hustle, thus making it difficult to dedicate time to pause without feeling guilt. 2020 has taught us that we can grow, even when we’re not rushing around. We can make progress in a season of pause.
The past year reminded us that our time here on this planet is precious. If you ever feel like you’re stuck in a loop, unsure of what day it? Simply, embrace a time to pause. Welcome a moment to check in with yourself: What fills you? What energizes you to move in the direction of your dreams? Let’s hit the pause button. Let’s mourn, breathe, weep, meditate, reflect, dance, hold our loved ones ever closer, reminisce…Go for a walk: Meditation in motion. As we work to fulfill that long and arduous process of spiritual transformation, let’s honor our time on this planet. Throughout the day, let’s simply embrace a time for pause.