Something was said the other day about just acting like normal. That sounded strange to me. Maybe that’s because people’s ideas about what and who is normal has undergone some radical change in recent days.
Trying to pin down normal these days can stir up some hot discussions. A friend recovering from the latest version of Covid was sick of isolating. Her comment was, “I’m ready for things to get back to normal.” As a lot of people acquiring the title or status of widow or widower, they could tell you stories about overcoming grief and trying to find their way back to normal. Some make it closer than others. Some feel like they’ll die of a broken heart before they get there.
As our country and our economy are straining under the weight of shortages, higher prices, and labor issues, we look around and wonder if things could ever return to anything similar to the normal we once knew. We’re not asking for Ozzie and Harriet and Father Knows Best to return. We’re just hoping for some semblance of stability in the value of what we’ve earned and what we’ll have to pay for the next grocery pickup or visit to the dollar store.
Some of us remember some challenging economic times in the past and have begun to wonder. We wonder if the new normal will be constant instability and uncertainty. We know we’ve been blessed to live in a country with so much freedom and abundance. We wonder if we could be looking at the end of prosperity as we’ve known it.
Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock predicted a great increase in the rate of change in our lives. The Bible predicts a faster pace of life and the accumulation of new knowledge. It’s hard not to have a sense of anxiety or nervousness as we look to any guideposts of stability or normalcy that might help us feel like things are getting back to something resembling normal.
Humanly we have our doubt that the same actors and actions that helped create this climate of uncertainty are likely to bring back life as we knew it. The only encouragement I can do is to remind us that the future is not in our hands. I’m putting my money on the new guys located a little higher up beyond the clouds.
By Dr. Juan Harrison