Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
How many times have you heard the phrase new normal? What does normal even mean? According to Webster’s dictionary, the word normal means conforming to a type, standard or regular pattern. One of the synonyms is familiar.
But what I’ve found out is that everyone has their own definition of normal. What’s normal for me, may not be normal for you and vice versa. And no matter how messed up any of us are, we all have our own feeling of what normal is. Normal is what is familiar to us. No matter how bad it is, it brings us comfort.
On Sunday, I heard a preacher talk about normal. He shared how when the Israelites came out of Egypt, and Pharaoh and his army chased after them, the people saw them coming and cried out to Moses “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness?” Exodus 14:11
In times of great distress or even panic, we long for normal. The Israelites suffered greatly in Egypt before they left, but that was normal. They longed for normal. They lost their trust in God and His promises.
In some ways, I feel the same as the Israelites. I long for normal. I just want everything to be normal again. There is too much stress and anxiety when things aren’t normal.
But what about the new normal?
Right now, there are many people hurting. Some are sick with the coronavirus, some are hurting financially. But at the same time, there are many good things happening. Families are spending time together like never before. People are out walking in their neighborhoods. We are not rushed. Our schedule is not full. We have time to smell the flowers. But I think the biggest thing that I see is that people want to help others. When I talk to people on the phone or meet people that I know when I’m out (social distancing of course), everyone says that they are fine. They also ask, “How can I help?”
We are also seeking God like never before in my lifetime. We are praying, we are engaged. In that way, God is calling us to a new normal. Not the one that we long to go back to. Not the one that has us with schedules so full, that we don’t have time for what is really important.
So then, if God is calling us to a new normal, maybe we aren’t meant to go back to “normal”.
Maybe this is normal. Our “New Normal”
We should look forward to that day when it becomes familiar.