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Finding a New Normal

By Aaron Zint

There was once a newly married couple making a roast for dinner. As they were preparing the food, the wife went to put the roast in the pan, but before doing so, she cut six inches off the end. “Why did you do that?” asked the husband. “That’s how you make a roast. You cut the end off,” she replied. “Okay but why? What does it do?” he asked. “Not sure. That’s just the way my mother always did it,” she said beginning to question it for the first time.

The next day, the woman called her mother and said, “Why do you cut the end off the roast before putting it in the oven?” “Well, that’s just the way my mother did it.” So the woman hung up, called her grandmother and asked, “Why did you always cut the end off the roast?” The grandmother replied, “Oh, honey, my pan just wasn’t big enough.”

To quote Hamilton, the world’s turned upside down. So much has changed in such a short amount of time and we’re all left trying to adapt. Our adaptations to distance learning for kids, working from home, limited-capacity-mask-wearing worship services have not been easy; and yet, we are given a unique opportunity through all of it. We get to question why we’ve always done what we’ve always done, the way we’ve always done it. People are asking in larger and larger numbers, is there a better way?

The hope that things will eventually just “return to normal,” sadly may be one we need to set aside. In the same way most of us were hoping the Shelter-in-Place orders would be over and the pandemic sorted out in a week or two, our optimism about how to move on needs to shift with the reality of what we are learning is a new normal: change. Yes we will find a rhythm; yes we will figure out how to stabilize our work, school and community; but embracing change as part of our new world reality is crucial to us innovating, finding peace and sharing hope.

This is our chance as a community, local and global to find out what’s possible that wasn’t before; to question the status quo. This is uncomfortable to say the least, but it’s what can bring about the most good in a bad situation. We are finding out that the way we learned to do life, our normal, was based on an old world. Our world is new now and we can find hope in embracing a new normal.

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