They say it takes 21 days, or 66 days, or even up to 90 days (depending on who you read) to form a habit. The Corona Virus pandemic will easily pass 365 days before it's resolved. That means a lot of new habits will have been formed!
Think about how much your behaviors have shifted in the last year. From school, to work, to eating out, to shopping, to travel and vacationing, to church attendance, to how you entertain yourself and your family, to your workout routine—so much has shifted. Multiply the new and shifted habits by millions of people and you’ll quickly realize that normal has changed a lot in the last year. In fact, it is safe to say, there is no such thing as normal!
Yet, it is so tempting to keep hoping for “going back to normal” in the post-pandemic era. But going back to normal only works if normal still exists. Oh, there will be some snapback. We’ll hopefully eventually be able to dine out, go to a concert, attend a packed sporting event, and sit next to someone we don’t know in church all without wearing a mask.
But trends will be different as well. Working remotely isn’t going away. Online shopping will continue to be conventional. Take-out will be more standard. And online church will be part of the “new normal.” The world we left in 2019 has morphed into something new and different in 2021 and beyond.
Here’s my encouragement as we move into the new normal. It’s actually the example that Nehemiah gives us as he discovered there’s no such thing as normal.
Grieve what you have left behind. Give yourself space to mourn what has been lost. Take time to inventory the things you feel you have sacrificed. You can’t effectively move forward if you haven’t healthily grieved what has been lost.
Deny yourself in order to look to what God has for you. It’s often in times of great change that God allows us to let go of things we need to let go of in order to grab onto things we need to grab onto. Crisis can often be the accelerator of beneficial change.
Let God speak to you. Spend time in conversation with God asking where He wants you to seek change. Check out our Pray First document to give you guidance on your prayers.
P.S. If you didn’t catch the first message in our “Rules of the New Normal” series you can do so here. Rule #1: There’s No Such Thing as Normal!