“When are we going to get back to normal?”
I am sure we have all heard this question. I bet most of us have asked this question. If I were to wager a guess, that question comes from fear – fear of the virus, fear of the economic impact, fear that life might be forever changed. If we go back to doing some or all of the activities we were doing six weeks ago, we will feel like we beat the virus. We will feel like we won.
I want to pose a different question: What was so great about the way it was? This is an important question that I do not hear asked much, if at all. It is critical that we spend some time thinking about this, or we are going to go right back to the hamster wheel, as it were.
I am not suggesting we do not put the country back to work, or that we don’t resume worshiping in person. What I am suggesting is that the time of self-quarantine might help us to reevaluate our priorities. When is the last time you spent so much time with the people you’re “stuck” with? Many people post on social media about family game time, books they’ve read, and so on. If we go back to “normal” are those things we want to lose? I hardly think so.
But the most important question, in my opinion, has hardly been asked. So, before we sprint to the finish of our quarantine, let me encourage you with some words from Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or
drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food,
and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not
sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds
them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by
worrying add a single hour to your life? … But seek first his kingdom and
his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as
well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry
about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:26ff)
If we genuinely want to learn something from this, if we want to come out of this part of our history better than we started, then we need to humble ourselves before the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you put him first in all things, to teach you during this time, to help you learn what is most important. And then when we are tempted to return to “normal,” let us, instead, return to