Hopefully, this is it. We are finally turning the corner as we come out of the pandemic, and sooner than later, we will back to… Normal?
Wait, are we going back? And if we go back, are we just going to keep doing what we have always been doing, like this lockdown never happened?
As I have talked to Christian leaders across the country over the last year, one phrase keeps coming up over and over: We can’t go back to normal.
Are We Going Back or Moving Forward?
This situation reminds me of Jesus’ disciples. Take Peter, for instance. When we first see Peter in the book of John, his brother Andrew approaches Jesus, and Jesus invites him to go where he was going. In that process, Andrew thought he would invite his brother Peter, who was just a fisherman. Fishing was his “normal” way of doing life.
However, when Jesus invited Peter to lay his nets down and follow him, this eventually changed everything. I don’t think Peter could have imagined how the next 3 years would have changed him, as he learned a new way of life following Jesus and taking part in his new K=kingdom that was being established. This became his new normal – his new life.
Soon Jesus starts hinting that he’s going to leave soon and things are about to change. I wonder at any point before Jesus was arrested if these disciples truly understood what this meant? And if they did, would the thought in their heads be, Are we going back to normal? Back to just fishing and working the family trade like the last 3 years never happened?
If they weren’t thinking it then, they must have thought that way when they discovered Jesus was dead. In fact, after Jesus resurrected, where do you see Peter? Peter was holding the fishing net he once dropped to follow Jesus, and he was back to fishing again. It was like the last 3 years didn’t change anything. He was back to his “normal” until Jesus gave him the nudge to move forward and feed his sheep.
After Jesus resurrected, where do you see Peter? Peter was holding the fishing net he once dropped to follow Jesus, and he was back to fishing again. It was like the last 3 years didn’t change anything.
Here is Your Nudge
My fear as we come out of this pandemic is that we will simply be human and go back to doing things the way we have always done it. Whether it’s as a parent and spending less time with our kids, going back to the same Sunday routine with church, or stopping that new and productive activity we picked up because we are no longer working from home. Fighting the urge to go back will be hard. Deep down, we know we need to move forward, but naturally, every part of our mind will want to go back to what we have done for the last 20 years because that is normal and what we have always known.
I encourage you to be very intentional about not going back to your old ways, which weren’t really working for you in the first place. Take the good stuff you gained out of this difficult season with Covid, and move forward.