Learning with a lizard

One of the few upsides of this enforced sabbatical is that you just might trust your inner voice a bit more than you used to.

Editor’s note: This observation was written by Reverend Chuck Rush, Senior Pastor at Christ Church in Summit, N.J., and sent to us by our friend Geoffrey Worden. We thought it was worth sharing with you.

The last day of school before the teachers were dismissed at my wife’s school in Elizabeth, N.J., was a little chaotic. No time was made for them to collect the various resources they might use to teach remotely. Instead, in the rush to the door, someone panicked at the prospect of the class lizard being left behind and that is how his large terrarium was stowed in Mrs. Rush’s car, headed to the suburbs like a ‘fresh air’ kid for summer vacation.

A week and a half elapses and my wife determines that the lizard is not happy, judging largely from the fact that the reptile is not eating. Research is done on the internet and she learns that the animal is probably impacted and the solution is to run a warm bath that will facilitate a bowel movement. And that is how I came to clean up an incredible amount of reptilian turd from what used to be my bathtub.

It turns out dragon lizards are incredibly affectionate in nature and spend most of their time draped on each other, sharing a hug. And they are monogamous. And that is how I came to share my evenings with Kate and a dragon lizard named Drake, poised comfortably on her chest, watching “Normal People” on Netflix to end the day.

You can’t make this stuff up.  Okay, we are all going a bit daffy with this much isolation. Even Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel are starting to get strange.

But, it has us in reflective mode as well. With this much time for you to talk with, well, no one else but yourself, almost all of us are starting to channel our Pascal and think about what we know to be true for ourselves regardless of what society is saying around us.  This is probably a good thing. It turns out you know what you need better than Madison Avenue, better than the Google bot’s that feed you news stories based on what you’ve clicked on in the past.

One of the few upsides of this enforced sabbatical is that you just might trust your inner voice a bit more than you used to, now that the crowd noise of the weekly commute is tamped down enough that you can actually hear yourself. It turns out there is quite a bit of literature on this topic and the consensus is fairly clear. We’ve been listening to the wrong voices way too much of our life. And the vague dissatisfaction you’ve felt from time to time is confirmation of that fact.