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I Didn’t Sign Up For This – What to Do When the Abnormal Becomes the New Normal
Archived – August 2, 2020

I Didn’t Sign Up For This – What to Do When the Abnormal Becomes the New Normal

August 2, 2020


  • Several months ago, many of us looked at what was then an emerging public health crisis and imagined that it would be a temporary pit stop.
  • Though there was significant concern by some, most of us never thought that we would today be several months into a global pandemic with no clear end in sight.
  • Nor had we considered the domino effect the pandemic would have on economics, education, childcare, church activity and countless social interactions that today we take for granted.
  • Early on we submitted to quarantine protocols (some of us) and self-consoled by repeating to ourselves: “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.”
  • Others were far more assertive than that. They weren’t waiting to get back to normal. They insisted that things return to normal.
  • Some petitioned the government for looser restrictions. Some ignored government altogether and made their own rules: refusing to wear masks, ignoring precautions about physical proximity and going about their lives as if there were no pandemic at all.
  • People defied pandemic restrictions in the name of faith, in the name of civil rights and to resist sinister plots to rule the world.
  • But I’m not quick to judge.
  • This balance between practical precautions and principled stands against whatever larger evil you believe is plaguing the world is difficult to call.
  • We live in odd times, where the truth really is stranger than fiction.
  • As a pastor, I don’t have the privilege of thinking only about my personal opinions.
  • I’m legally and spiritually responsible for the well-being of hundreds of people.
  • Hence, while I don’t trust everything I hear, I can’t make decisions based purely on conspiracy theories.
  • I have to weigh evidence-based conclusions, Scriptural truths and promptings by the Holy Spirit.
  • And right now, all three of these things are telling me: we might be in this for a while.
  • Hence, the title of this sermon and series: “I Didn’t Sign Up For This: What to Do When the Abnormal Becomes the New Normal”

Key Insight:

  • “The goal is not to get back to normal but to get back to God”—Bishop Dale Bronner


Practical Steps

Step # 1

  • Discern the Context

Matthew 24:3-14 (NKJV)

Step # 2

  • Distinguish between the things you can control and the things you can’t control.

Jeremiah 28 (ESV)

Jeremiah 29:1-14 (ESV)


© Joshua D. Smith, Ph.D., 2020

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