Being perplexed and mystified about the meaning of normal adds layers of uncertainty to our comprehension of new normal. It's as if new normal is always going to be something dreaded or negative, an alteration of our favored patterns, routines, habits, and practices. Throughout Covid-19 we have imagined restrictive health measurements, limited public interaction, further government intrusion in our private lives, product shortages, fluctuating prices, a state run church, disintegrating constitutional rights, and hundreds of other dark side diversions. The truth is none of us knows what the new normal of life will be when the restrictions are lifted. I mean, most of us can't even define normal. How can we even perceive, except with our vivid minds eyes, what the new normal will be?
Like it or not, new normal is often application of life lessons learned. You know the deal. Crisis or hardship are often our most teachable moments. The many threats of the coronavirus have sharpened our learning capacities. People at every level of American life have envisioned change in the aftermath of the pandemic, some changes thought to be senseless and mundane, others for the continuation of our species. Whatever they are, we will be expected to adjust our lives to the new norms. And, the lessons of life are not always bad. In most cases they open doors of awareness in us, learnings that compel us to needed change. Our new normal is often the shocking truth of directions gone wrong, things that should be corrected.
Circumstances intersect life at several significant points. They can surely dominate us, claiming our energies and resources, shifting our vision and expectations downward. Just the same these circumstances can teach us, lessons that create our new normal realities. Being aware of them and learning from them is a strong Christian discipline. Here are two examples. There are many more---
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5: 18, ESV
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those
who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8: 28, ESV
The point is that life circumstances instruct us. Because God is the author of them, we should be thankful, even when they go against the grain. God works all things together for our good if we love him and seek his purposes. So, yes, the wise among us will learn valuable life lessons from Covid-19. They will comprise our new normal when this thing is over. The new normal will not necessarily be government dictates, economic disaster, or cultural mania. The lessons learned may be health related advancements, many needed employment adjustments, greater societal awareness of the least of these in our population, even stronger connections of the modern church to the world around us. Who knows? Even the experts are undecided and questioning the lessons learned from Covid-19. I mean, it's not over yet, even those of us anxious for the resumption of life as we once knew it. New normal is yet a question mark.
Still, my Christian worldview, and I do pray the belief systems of millions of others, will be the prayer of King David---
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me
on level ground!
Psalm 143: 10, ESV
The new normal is often the lessons learned from life. Lessons we should learn.
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