Navigating Our New Norm
Has it really only been a week that we’ve been self-quarantined? Anybody else feel like it’s been forever? I want to be perfectly honest with you when I tell you that this change in my lifestyle has been difficult, scary, filled with anxiety, lonely, and fun all at the same time. I can’t help but borrow Charles Dickens’ famous line from A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” But what we rarely quote is the rest of the paragraph: “it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” Aren’t those the times we’re living in now?
Age of foolishness – People discounting government mandates such as social distancing and self-quarantining.
Epoch of incredulity – in our entitled, comfortable lives we scream, “How can this be happening to me?!”
Season of darkness – reading about those stricken with sickness and dying. Worse yet, knowing someone who is sick or having had a loved one die. That’s darkness.
Winter of despair – wondering what the future holds. Will this ever end or is this our new norm?
Age of wisdom – falling on our knees before God; praying more; studying God’s word more; total dependence on God. That’s wisdom.
Epoch of belief – our faith has been challenged beyond what we thought was capable. How many of us have fallen on our faces before God as a result of our deep need for His comfort and presence?
Season of light – our God is the author of light; He’s with us through this.
Spring of hope – we’re all desperate because we realize how out of control our lives are. But as Christians, we still have hope. Hope springs eternal in Jesus Christ.
Bottom line: I think it’s okay to feel all of those things. Occasionally we will act foolishly. Hopefully more often we will be wise. Sometimes our faith will soar on wings like eagles. Other times we will be fearful and in dark places. More often we will breathe in faith and live as followers of the God of love and light.
So how do we navigate all of these challenging feelings and circumstances? That’s easy. One teeny tiny step at a time. No one knows how to do this perfectly. No one knows what tomorrow will bring…or next week…or next month…or next year. We will falter. Stumble. Run. Crawl. Cry. Laugh. Exercise. Binge watch television. Hide under the covers and not want to get up. We will gain weight. We might lose weight. But all of that’s okay. One thing is for certain: we’re all in this together. And God is with us even when it doesn’t feel like it. And that’s okay. After all, these truly are the best of times and the worst of times.