There is good bit of talk about going back to normal as the pandemic recedes. Many, I think more wisely, refer to a new normal. I think it is easy to approach the next few months with a sense of appropriate excitement and anticipation. But I believe that it is also wise to consider what moving into a post-pandemic life means for us, as individuals, families, and as a local body of Christ.
After the stresses, pain, and grief of the pandemic, going back to normal may sound pretty good. But I have a few of observations about this. First, our pre-pandemic normal may not have been particularly healthy and constructive. While going backward may offer the security and comfort of familiarity, it offers little in the way of opportunities for growth. Second, normal encourages comparisons with others and denies that each of us is unique, wonderful, and complete in Christ. We need not concern ourselves with normal, past, present, or future. And finally, while the pandemic may have put elements of our lives in suspended animation, it most definitely did not inhibit the Lord from continuing to do His work in us. May heaven truly forbid our turning our back on what the Lord has been doing simply so that we can go back to normal.
So then, what about a new normal? Again, I would prefer to avoid the mindset of normal because the term tends to confine us and bind us to some kind of script. I think it is more helpful to look at post-pandemic life through the lens of faith. Some of us have experienced significant if not horrific losses during this past year. This is the time to grieve and to pursue recovery in the presence of our merciful Lord. Most of us would do well to take a bit of time and prayerfully identify as best we can how the Lord has worked in and through the circumstances of this past year and then consider how we might best prosper His work in us. If the pandemic has exposed areas of sin and brokenness, there is no better time than now to take time to confess and consider what repentance looks like as life begins to significantly change for us, again. If the pandemic has given us the opportunity to develop routines and patterns that allow for better self-care, empower us to love more deeply, and/or invest in the Lord’s work in new ways, now is the time to consider how to sustain such growth and incorporate it into post-pandemic life.
Normal life. New normal life. Abnormal Life. Non-Normal Life. May we pursue a life of faith by the power of the Holy Spirit, making the most of our time, because the days are evil.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but
as wise, making the most of your time, because the days