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I have heard quite a few times over the past months that we need to make changes in order to adjust to this “new normal”.  Everyone seems to be scrambling to make decisions based on what we think is the “new normal”.

For example, the COVID pandemic has forced many companies to allow their employees to work from home, restaurants have been forced to offer curbside delivery or depend upon tents for outside seating, churches have adapted by offering their weekly service online, and entertainment companies have been forced to implement extensive disinfecting policies – to name just a few things we have become used to over the past few years.

But how long will this new normal last? What will normal look like post-pandemic? The truth is we don’t know how the future will look, but we know many things won’t look like they did prior to the pandemic and likely many things won’t look like they do now. So, in other words, we really don’t know what the “normal” will be post-pandemic.

The same was true of the Great Recession from 2007-2009 that was fueled by, among other things, low interest rates, excessive risk taking by financial institutions, and insufficient banking regulations. What we had known as the normal was gone and the Recession rang in a new normal. But that “new normal” didn’t remain. Necessary adjustments to financial regulations were made and eventually a newer normal settled in.

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, has been quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” This would mean that what we know as normal must also change. Of course, we have no problem with change when it comes to negative things in our lives. In fact, we welcome it. But most of us would love for good things to stay the same and never change, but that just isn’t reality.

My wife and I are recent empty nesters. We wish we could have kept our three boys as the young toddlers that depended on us and hung on our every word, but times change. They grew up over the years and what we knew as normal in our household has changed. I don’t necessarily like it, and at times don’t want to accept it, but it was unavoidable. We are adjusting to what the new normal is…. for now.

The same will hold true with this pandemic as well. It seems like it will never end and what we know as normal today will remain that way, but the fact is this is only the normal for now. Just like during the Great Recession and for my family, things will change and a new normal will become evident. What is likely frustrating most people is that we simply don’t know what it will look like, so we start speculating. We start hoping and praying that what the future will look like is close to what we want it to be.

I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know a couple things. God is most certainly in control, and I am most certainly not Him.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

Mark Etting

Author Mark Etting

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