Mondo bizarro and normal
If it could be packaged or marketed it would be a best seller, the new normal. Mondo bizarro 2020 pretty much scuttled our concepts of standard or usual in lifestyles. What we know about calendars, schedules, timetables, schemes, or intentions have been obscured by mazes of doubt, question marks, and uncertainty. The pandemic threw us all off---working from home, home school systems, church cancellations, mask systems, and every measure of medical uncertainty. Election 2020 sowed seeds of doubt, system malfunction, and evil into our every four year constitutional right of government. With our own personal stuff, it was mondo bizarro. Regular life was lost in the weirdness.
Now we're fast-forwarding to 2021 in the hope we'll meet the new normal there. Surely by January 1 of the New Year we'll have recovered some of the stables of what is normal.
Then again, maybe not. The turning of the calendar these days isn't a secret entrance to a new world or magical escape from an old one. With just thirty days in the final stretch of 2020 we should, however, seek to finalize what works to keep us on point regardless of the cultural heartbeat. What is normal, whether new or old, isn't the deal for those of us with a Christian worldview anyway. My norm isn't what makes society tick. Normal for those of us sharing a Christian worldview is the new life we live by faith.
Lifestyle and personal norms are a consistent biblical theme. On the front page is the truth that our lives are not to be a reflection of what is popular in culture. And, that, of course, is a regrettable reality about our concept of new norms. They are what the majority says they are, all too often. But, adoption of a world standard isn't a new norm for me. I mean, think about these Scriptures---
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12: 2, ESV
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1: 10, ESV
Just the same, a genuine new norm is the product of what we have learned during a mondo bizarro experience and the life God has planned for our future. Note the new norm the Apostle Paul experienced after assessing his times of plenty and need---
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4: 12-13, ESV
He had experienced the mondo bizarro of need and the joys of abundance. His new norm was the heavenly strength to face all things. Wow!!! New norm indeed.
The truth is that new norm is a personal decision. Chances are the mysteries of Covid-19 will still place question marks around our life planning 2021. Schedules and agendas will remain a matter of daily planning and adjustment. New elements of mondo bizarro may introduce even more uncertainty about the new normal. In anticipation, I may need to preclude these remaining thirty days with the question and declaration of Joshua, prepping Israel to enter the promised land---
And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24: 15, ESV
New normal? No big deal. Its the same, mondo bizarro or not. And, I must choose---same 'ol, same 'ol, or something new. I'm hearing the words God gave to the Prophet Isaiah---"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?"
(Isaiah 43: 19, ESV). That's the new normal.
Mondo bizarro is overwhelmed by the new thing. The genuine new normal.