The New Normal
Pastor Cho’s letter
If you are like me, there are many a day when I am rudely awakened by disturbing thoughts and worries. The world has changed dramatically, and news of events around the world amplifies the drama. When can we go back to the way it used to be? When can we get back to normal?
What is normal anyway? Is anyone or anything “normal?” Usually it means predictable, comfortable, like morning walks, and soft fleece blankets. This definition is especially bothersome in a world altered by the corona virus where everything is but normal. The idea of normalcy grows fainter as it slips away into a myriad of headline news.
We live in a culture that keeps changing the definition of what “normal” is. Ads and media subtly, but not so subtly, reiterate the ideal height and weight, an ideal fashion, and an ideal lifestyle. People will go to great lengths to achieve this. So, we have orthodontists and plastic surgeons to make the changes necessary. If these are out of reach, we can get an app to achieve that look - at least digitally. Being normal can be as simple as wearing the right attire to fit in with friends or posting pictures in vogue with social media socialites. If this is your idea of normal, then the trend doesn’t last long. Like fashion, normal changes with time. My plethora of neckties will testify to that. I don’t buy new ties anymore because the old styles always come back.
The normal is defined by what we’re accustomed to or comfortable with. We speak of normal rainfall, normal crop yield, and normal worship service. But like all things in life and under the sun, there is incrementalism where changes creep into every aspect of our lives. We are uncomfortable at first, then there is acceptance, and eventually it turns into the norm. The world’s definition of normal is only temporary like the shifting sands of time, and “like a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
The Christian believers need to look beyond the norms set by the world. God’s norm does not change over time because God’s principles, His will, and His plan are timeless. He has a plan for all nations, tribes, people and languages. When we follow His ways, you can be sure He will never leave us because God is immutable and does not change today or tomorrow. His love for us is so absolute that nothing will shift or alter His plan to bring His children into the New Normal. Earthly normal always changes but God’s normal does not. The bible says that “the world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
If you’re waiting for the new normal to set in, remember that God has been waiting for the new normal since the beginning of time. His new normal is like the Garden of Eden where “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain” (Rev. 21:4). The new normal for God is the “new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” (Rev. 21:1).
I prefer God’s new normal, don’t you? Jesus is waiting to receive you and I me into the new life, new body, and new norm.
Don’t be rudely awakened at night or be disheartened by the lack of normalcy, but rather be encouraged that as advent people, we are waiting with anticipation the second coming of Jesus to establish the New Normal.