The New Normal

By Jim Voigt

As I sit down to write this, it’s been about a week now of minimized activity within our communities. This morning the order went out that we are all to “stay at home” except for essential activities until April 24th in Boone County. This is a whole new world for nearly all of us; it almost seems surreal. For at least another month now our new normal will mean staying in our homes and distancing ourselves from others when we have to get out. But let’s be honest, this is really the least of our worries.

The things we are more worried about are our health and our livelihood for ourselves and those we love. The economy is struggling under the new strain of many workers being sent home because of the new mandates. Things are going to be very different for a season before all of this passes. I’ve mentioned this a couple of times now, but back in February I preached a sermon on the importance of “Resilience”. I felt like God laid that word on my heart for 2020. I’m now beginning to receive that message as a prophetic gift from our Father. In this new season, we will all have to be a little more flexible and adaptable then we have been in the past. If we are able to be resilient, then we will look for new opportunities and ways to be faithful to God, encourage others and receive our “daily bread” or provision in life. As we live into this new normal and demonstrate greater resilience then we’ve ever shown before I want to remind you of a prayer.

Hanging on the wall in my home office is a sentence out of a special prayer. The Heller’s actually bought me this piece of artwork at a Cub Scout Dinner fundraiser years ago. It’s a stigmatized prayer because Alcoholics Anonymous adopted it a long time ago, but it’s really for all of us, not just people who struggle with alcohol. It reminds us that many things are out of our control in life and to not worry much about things we have no control over. It also challenges us to remember that some things are in our control and to show responsibility for those things. During this surreal season, let’s all keep the Serenity Prayer close to our hearts. Let’s pray it often and lean into our faith for comfort and guidance. God is with us and Jesus and the Holy Spirit speak to him often about our needs and concerns. We will get through this through their encouragement and guidance. Now I would encourage you to pray the Serenity Prayer with me as you place all of your fears and concerns upon our loving God:

THE SERENITY PRAYER

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it; trusting that You will make all things right
If I surrender to Your will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Amen.