Ok, this pandemic is a bummer. No one likes it. Some of us (i.e., me) hate it. The pandemic has changed a lot of things. It has closed some things down. It opens up other opportunities. I wanted to take this post and encourage you to use the opportunities provided by the pandemic to grow and enjoy the Great Books. Here are three suggestions:
A Quiet Time to Read Great Books
Everything has slowed down during Covid. I joked with a teacher that the first semester of 2020-2021 was three years long. It felt like it! There are activities that are not happening and perhaps, sadly, celebrations that are not taking place. While that is awful, it does free up some time to read that book that you should read but have not taken the time to read.
Avoid the temptation of thinking too much or learning too much about Covid. I have tried this technique thinking that knowing every bit of up to date information would help me make good decisions or feel better about the future. It doesn’t. Every two weeks I would say to myself, “Oh, I will know so much more in two weeks.” Sadly, every two weeks I would learn that most of what I learned over the last two weeks turned out to be false. I wish I could have some of the time that I wasted early in the pandemic so that I could spend it reading Great Books and learning truth instead of thinking that my mind could be satisfied with the latest news from media sources that were more concentrated on getting people to tune in the next day instead of really saying much that connected to truth.
The Blessing of Hard Work and Structure
Also, during this time, we all can see the value of hard work and structure. My devotional time became that “settling down” time during Covid. Without that time, I would have gone apoplectic at points. At the end of the workday, I would try to read a chapter of the worthy book that I was reading. When I was able to keep that structure, it was such a blessing.
Reading the Great Books also provides a sense of accomplishment. Reading Anna Karenina is enjoyable but it also stretches and grows you to be a better reader and a deeper person.
Faith Power During the Pandemic
Many of the Great Books grow your faith as well. Reading about Dante’s trip from Hell to Heaven or Reading Luther’s Bondage of the Will can be great during the quiet times of the pandemic. I would also recommend Barbara Tuchman’s The Distant Mirror. It will walk you through The Black Death and the 100 Years War. When you are done, you might be more content with Covid after seeing what happened during the 14th century.
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