There is much talk these days about getting back to normal. And the Buzz Word of the Day is the “new normal,” though nobody seems to know what that will be or when it will happen. Maybe there will be an announcement: “And this shall be the new normal.” That would be nice.
I am no prognosticator. (Though I am clearly a show-off, using a word like “prognosticator.”) But I predict with modest confidence that, whatever normal looks like a year from now, it will be noticeably different than what it looked like a year ago. For good or for ill, the Covid pandemic, along with its resultant confusion and fear, will have permanently changed what was once “normal” to some degree or another. Some of the adaptations we made in haste, out of necessity of survival, will have proved to be beneficial to many. Other adaptations may serve to prove the usefulness of the old way of doing a particular thing. For example:
How many families will have discovered their kids actually do better learning and studying online? My own grandchildren, all still in elementary and middle school, have thrived in this environment. Others, however, have struggled greatly.
How many churches have discovered their online services can reach around the world, and not just around the block? A friend of mine now “goes to church” at multiple churches, visiting several on-line services every Sunday. What does that mean to the concept of church membership and attendance?
How many office-based businesses will shrink their rented office space as workers discover they get the job done in less time and with less stress working from home?
How many universities will shrink, or even close, as students discover they can learn from home for a fraction of the cost? And in that case, what will take the place of the social element that is an integral piece of going to college?
How will musicians, who have learned new ways of working together, recording together, writing together, adapt those new techniques into the “new normal”?
Can organizations like bands, choirs, and orchestras survive on-line? I think not. But will they adapt some sort of hybrid on-line approach to their organization and rehearsals?
Can piano teachers teach effectively on-line? Or must they teach in person so that they can slap the students poor hand positions? (Do piano teachers still do that?)
How will your ministry/business/livelihood/hobby be changed? What will normal be for you in a year?
Even when an effective vaccine is developed for the Covid virus, and we are no longer afraid to be human and mingle mask-free with one another, I think some of the adaptations we’ve made will become normal. That said, I also believe we will rediscover the vital importance of being together, singing together, celebrating together, and grieving together.
I try not to let the negativity of the news media frighten me or cause me to worry more than I naturally do. After all, the news media is in the business of selling fear. Add to that the observable fact that they never really get the story totally right, and you have all the reason any sane person needs to doubt every word they say or print, and to ignore them all but completely.
But there is a Truth we can depend on, one which doesn’t waiver in the winds of social media, never spews hatred or lies, nor SHOUTS IN ALL CAPS.
For God is faithful. His way is perfect. His Word is proven. He keeps His promises and he loves us unconditionally. That is God’s normal, and it is eternal and unchanging.
I hope you have a great normal this week.