I’m sitting in the cutest little coffee shop as I write this—and things feel normal. We’re all far enough apart, eating, drinking, and working, that we don’t have to cover our faces. Granted, my mask is sitting across my wallet, the guy next to me has his hanging off his ear—but still, seeing strangers’ faces isn’t anything I ever believed would bring me relief. But here we are.
I remember thinking how strange I thought it sounded when everyone said that where things are right now— fear and chaos—is to be our “new normal.”
Nope—maybe awakening, rebuilding understanding, and allowing for our circumstances to change (because they are always changing), but not settling for chaos and accepting insanity as a place we should reside.
God is not a god of chaos and we were never meant to be people of chaos. In the midst of chaos, we’re to be anchors of Rest and the Presence—and if we’re going to be that, we have to create a normal that centers around Joy, Worship, and Sabbath.
As believers, if our normal changes when the world gets crazy, the patterns we relied on for health and foundation in our lives get turned upside down, we have missed the purpose of being rooted in Christ. When the world went insane, and we went insane too, we revealed, crucially, how out of touch and lacking centricity in the Word of God we are.
Where we are out of touch with the Wholeness and Presence of the Spirit, we will panic and react instead of pray and respond.
As we move forward, after the novelty of crisis wares off, and we’re creating normal again, it should not be lacking in the Only One Who can be assuredly and consistently relied upon—JESUS.
We are so weird about control and wanting to have it and feeling alluded by it, but the things that will bring us the most control, actions we can choose to do or not do (*cough cough* also known as actions we can control)—namely the fact that we have the control to create routines centered around steeping ourselves in the Presence, isn’t something we’re choosing to do!
Our “normal” was just being comfortable. And the prioritization of comfortability is antithetical to the way God calls us to live–even Sabbath often isn’t comfortable because Rest is difficult to truly attain. Normal, for the American Christian, has mostly been keeping our heads down and only being open about what we claim is the center of our everything on Sundays.
I watched a Francis Chan sermon recently where he shared about visiting the Underground Church in China. When he shared with them what church looks like in the United States, they laughed. They laughed because it’s absolutely ridiculous that people are so lukewarm here, when in the same world, the daily threat of death is present for those who believe what we pretend to care about. It’s remarkable how drastically our normal changed, when the only part about our lives that should have emulated a level of normalcy worth keeping is our routines established around being in the Presence.
Where there is a lack of centricity in the Presence, there will be chaos, and we will find ourselves swirling. But where there is persistent resting and steeping ourselves in Who God is, we will find unbelievable Peace when everything around us is insane.