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