I adore Shakespeare’s plays and have acted in enough of them to know how brilliant a writer the Bard was (and is). But it never dawned on me that his play, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (which I never acted in, by the way), would become “much ado about” where I am right now in this 10-day quarantine from testing positive for COVID. And speaking of Shakespeare, the God Sonnets I write every morning have not changed their tune or timing, but everything else seems to be me at “much ado about nothing.” Let me try to explain what I mean by this and beg to question if “much ado about nothing” can actually mean “much ado about something?”
It’s not that before testing positive for COVID I was a super busy guy, because I wasn’t. I always have been a super (?) guy with more time on my hands than money in my jeans. But before testing positive for COVID, I did go to work at the hotel and, on my days off from work, went to recovery meetings and my appointment with my therapist, as well as run errands here and there, sometimes with my dog, Blue. But look at me now! In my home, quarantined, with my mentionable dog, Blue, as well my two cats who need surely be mentioned, Comrade Conrad and Groucho. And it’s only the second day in this 10-day quarantine and I’m already climbing the walls. I now have more free time on my hands than money in my jeans than I ever had before. So, I am seriously “much ado about nothing” or is this “nothing” actually “something?”
Truth be told, I was “much ado about nothing” these past couple of days because the symptoms of COVID were “much ado about something” awful! I had EXTREME fatigue and MAJOR aches and pain with fever and just “much ado about yuck!” I couldn’t even pray really, and that really scared me. It’s like in all of this, God has told me, “Look, Timothy, you have been doing ‘much ado’ about too much lately, and I just had to slow you down. This ‘much ado” is for your own good….and MINE!” And God’s right (of course)! I HAVE been doing “much ado” about too much, i.e., too much thriving, too much striving, too much seeking, too much needing, just too much of too much equating to just too much of not feeling I could do enough. God had to bring me to my knees with this COVID and slow me down. So, this “much ado about nothing” is actually “something,” and that “something” is it’s absolutely necessary to stop and rest, stop the “do, do, do,” and just slow down before me (and you) wear ourselves out! God wasn’t kidding when He said: “Be STILL, and know that I AM God” (Psalm 46:10).
I am experiencing much discomfort from this “much ado about nothing.” I feel like I need to be doing “something.” I feel like I just can’t sit here and do “nothing.” Why? Because I’ll be forgotten. Because I won’t earn my keep. And yet, God has an answer for my “I’ll be forgotten” and my “I won’t earn my keep” (BOTH): He said, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made Perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s Power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9). And don’t think for a second that this verse is lost on me about that “weakness” part, because boy was I ever weak when I first started having COVID symptoms. It was an ideal time for me to be “much ado about” boasting all the more gladly that I was SO weak! This verse, of course, really does not “much ado about” COVID, but it definitely has “something ado about” admitting how weak we all are (or at least we can be) in mind, body and spirit and how gladly we can and must boast about it “so that Christ’s Power may rest on us.” Maybe, for me, this verse actually does have “something ado about” COVID?
And if there is “much ado about nothing” or “something” that I am most concerned about in all of this, it is the isolation. I already have an “isolation” disposition. If one couples that with my disposition for introversion, I think one gets the not-so-pretty picture. What am I really saying here? Am I gonna go nuts in this isolation? Too late, if anyone knows me at all. Am I gonna tear out all my hair? Too late, if anyone knows me at all. Am I gonna have to ask for help as they say in recovery we’re supposed to do? I think this one right here is “much ado about nothing” that will be “much ado about something,” because God has been working on me for a long now to reach out to others for help. Speaking of “if anyone knows me at all,” I have NEVER liked asking others for help. It just feels SO unnatural and can feel downright unmanageable for me to ask for help. I know many have offered me this very thing, but I just want to “close shop” with their offerings. Why? Am I now going to be obligated to them in some way I won’t be able to oblige? Are they going to become necessary in my life when I prefer not to have anyone become necessary in my life? When I have deemed someone meaningful to me in my life, I have found myself asking this same someone (even if they never heard these exact words): “What do you want from me????” If help be sought, what WOULD they want from ME? If help be sought, what WOULD I want from THEM? What if BOTH of us WOULD only want from each other the simple things for BOTH, like encouragement, support, friendship and, of course, love? What if it WOULD only be these simple things? Then, I WOULD have to ask myself, “Timothy, why are you making these simple things SO difficult?”
Let’s face it, friends (and I do hope I can call you friend?): Now, probably more than ever with what we are all facing, we will have to face in our lives the helplessness and even the hopelessness of “much ado about nothing.” I have been writing about “nothing” for most of my life. It came with the writing of my first play, INGENTING, which is the Swedish word for “nothing.” And “nothing” has continued to haunt my every waking and non-waking hour. I could never have foretold that in the “nothing,” there might be “something.” YES, GOD! I could never have foretold that in the “nothing,” there might be “everything.” YES, GOD! In my beginnings, “nothing” delivered to me the promise of such a word, i.e., “I AM NOTHING, NOTHING MATTERS, AND, YES, NOTHING MATTERS, LEAST OF ALL ME!” Once again, I could never have foretold that “much ado about nothing” could actually be “something” and “everything” and, YES, GOD!
I think in this 10-day quarantine (2 days down, 8 days to go), I’m gonna find out EXACTLY where I am (and will be) with “YES, GOD!” It’s gonna be “much ado about nothing”….or “something?”