The new normal? (This is not normal.)
Weâ€™ve seen so much commentary on whether life was better before quarantine, or during it. Did we like our freedom and did we use it well, or do we prefer our new simplicity?
It reminds me of when I was trying to decide after living 15 years in Mexico if I was more â€œMexicanâ€ or â€œAmerican.â€ I thought somehow, I had to choose one over the other when in reality, crossing the border often felt like I was leaving home, to come home. Could it be there is a culture between where weâ€™ve been, and where we are, that reflects the kingdom of God we are citizens of?
Paul was trying to teach a group of people a new way of life when he wrote these words in Romans. He knew for them it wasnâ€™t normal to change their faith, so he made it very clear how to proceed. As I look in this season for a guidebook, how are we to handle whatâ€™s going on around us? Paulâ€™s words seem extraordinarily relevant. This passage has become my Quarantine Creed.
Romans 12: 9-16Â Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.Â
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
This is the prayer we cling to and cultivate an appetite for what is good. Was there some good in my life of just a month or so ago? Yes. Is there good in this new, simpler version? Â Yes. Could normal be the best of that life and the best of these new lessons?
Be sincere when we love, be devoted to our families – this muscle is getting a workout. Â I am asking myself, how can I honor the needs of others when I can, some days, feel so needy? When we get back to what we miss – the people, the activity, the convenience of our other life, I want this strengthened muscle, of thinking about others above myself, to be my new normal.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
I want to be joyful in all circumstances, hopeful when I donâ€™t know whatâ€™s coming, faithful to pray for my future and otherâ€™s lives. This circumstance is not normal. Iâ€™ll admit, I miss my people and the world I love to explore. However, Godâ€™s will in my life is not thwarted by circumstances, and I can be patient, and faithful that these days, too, are His to ordain.
Share with the Lordâ€™s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
I keep asking, what do I have I can give away? Where are you calling me to be generous? The neediness of this season is asking of me more than I am sometimes comfortable with, but the generosity of Godâ€™s family is inspiring, and I hope my new normal is ridiculously full of sharing.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Live in harmony with one another.
I want to rejoice with someone for the provision and empathize when they are sick. I want to live in harmony with my spouse, co-workers, children, neighbors. This is my quarantine creed.
Life was not supposed to be lived in isolation. We long to see each otherâ€™s faces and connect as we were designed to connect. That day is coming, and when we emerge from our homes, I hope our hands are reaching out for one another. Â I pray the new culture that is birthed from this season is the best in the world weâ€™ve left behind, and the strength of the lessons learned apart. I pray we appreciate more than ever, the privilege of relationship.