Be a different person today…

April 24, 2021

A quote that I’ve kept around in my collection of quotes to write about seemed very appropriate today – “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” ― Lewis Carroll

Carroll was not thinking about the impact that the CORONA Virus pandemic would have on us all and certainly could not have foreseen the changes in us all caused by the George Floyd verdict; however, he puts in words a truth that many try to avoid accepting – there is no going back to the way it was, because we are all not the way that we were.

We hear a lot about “getting back to normal” when the virus pandemic is discussed, and it usually involves returning to the way things were before this all started. Yet, we know in our hearts that we can’t go back to the way things were. Just in the U.S. alone, we are missing almost 700,000 people that were there before all of this started, and over 3 million worldwide. That means there are over 3 million holes in “the way things were”; over 3 million opinions, actions and reactions missing from the way things were. We are all different people today because we are missing those people and our interactions with them.

You are a lot different if one of those missing people was a husband or wife, a parent or child, a relative or a close friend. Those holes loom larger as voids in the lives of those left behind. For those left behind, life is different today and they are different people today. There is no going back to the way it was for them.

We must all accept that there is no going back to the way is used to be and instead focus our energy on making the future look more like we would like it to be. We cannot change yesterday, but we still have time to influence tomorrow.

For a while, we must still observe the guidelines about wearing masks, washing our hands and social distancing. The pandemic isn’t over, yet; and, we must all get vaccinations. And, we can take steps to better control gun violence and we can do things to slow or reverse global warming. Those things have huge impacts on our lives, too. We can support police reforms and help in the fight against systemic racism and prejudice and hate of all types. In short, we can become different (better) people and not who we were yesterday or even today.

If you need a touchstone, something unchanging that you can cling to that is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow; look no further than to God and Jesus. We are told in the Bible

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6)

AND

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

Yes, we are all different today that we were yesterday; however, our faith can remain unchanged and that is a reassuring thing. Lean on your faith for the strength to get through this pandemic and to give you the resolve to move forward. We know that change is inevitable and that death is inevitable; however, we also know that death is not final and that gives us the hope and courage to face even that change.

From the shifting sands of uncertain change, climb on the solid rock of your faith and be safe. Be a different and better person today than you were yesterday.


Find your way back to normal…

March 11, 2021

It is quite common to hear someone using the phrase “the new normal” these days and that brings the question of what “normal” is to mind, whether new or old.

According to the dictionary normal is –

nor·mal

/ˈnôrməl/

adjective –

conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.

“it’s quite normal for puppies to bolt their food”

noun –

the usual, average, or typical state or condition.

“her temperature was above normal”

In both uses the word “expected” seems to apply as a useful definition. That also brings to mind another saying that the only thing consistent in life is change. The movie Ground Hog Day aside, I suspect that we all wake up each day expecting it to be different from yesterday. Maybe, for some, hoping it will be different is a better description.

One would have been hard pressed to imagine a little over a year ago that it would be as “normal” to reach for a face mask as it is to reach for one’s phone, yet that has become the expected for most of us. For the outliers who refuse to mask up, their contrarian attitude is consistent – it is normal for them.

So, our new normal is the state in which we have reached some degree of accommodation with whatever disruptive force impacted our routines and expectations. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus  will take it’s place in our lives, just as the regular flu virus and other earlier diseases have. We will likely find getting an annual COVID booster shot to be a part of the new normal. For the generations alive during this pandemic some recognition of “the way things were” before the pandemic will become an indelible memory and part of the stories that will be passed down to future generations (for a while anyway).

Things will never again be the way they were, but then they will also never be the same tomorrow as they are today. We have been forced to confront change in our lives as never before. Out of that we have hopefully learned to better deal with change, to expect it rather than being surprised or annoyed by it. We certainly can’t stop change from happening, but we can learn to deal with it better. Thankfully, many have come to grips with change by embracing their faith in God. Those who can earnestly pray, “Not my will but thy will be done” are much better prepared to face of day full of change, putting their faith in God to be in control.

We probably will have many instances in our lives where we might still have to say, “I didn’t see that coming”. However, rather than railing against change; those who put their trust in God, can roll with the punches confident that God has a plan and that it will all work out for the best. As we desperately search for something that is unchanging to cling to, God becomes the only consistent answer. For believers, their faith is both the old and new normal.

Find your way back to normal by finding your way back to God. God never changes.