Monday Musing: Normal? What's Normal?

Do we really want to go back?

Two weeks ago I would have said, “I can’t wait to get back to normal.” Now? I’m not so sure.

I struggle hard with the lack of embodied presence with people. There is something about a hug, fist bump, and side conversation in a crowded room that I have come to realize is magical. I am more than ready for those things to come back.

However, there is a meme running around, the image at the top of this post, that asks “What parts of normal are worth rushing back to?” This is a great question.

Last night as I was hosting our missional communities on Zoom I was struck by the interplay and interaction of this diverse group of men and women. It filled me with joy. I realized that soon enough we would be back together in person and that got me really excited.

What I also realized is that many of them, for the first time in a long time, looked rested and relaxed.

I am realizing that I…we…needed a reset.

The pace that my family and I have been running for probably 15 years really is unsustainable. Yet, we have little idea how to get off the hamster wheel that we placed ourselves on. The calendar was always full. Every day was jam packed with events that we simply “couldn’t say no to.” There was very rarely a break in the action. We were always running from one thing to the next.

As I look back and consider most of the people I know, their lives were very similar.

We rarely took the time for leisurely meals together. These have been some of the best parts of the stay-at-home order. Sitting around the table with my wife, son, and daughter has been a blessing that is beyond compare. We talk and laugh and tell stories. We have rediscovered how much we love and enjoy one another. I want to keep the family dinner.

Last week I drove to driveways and saw the folks whom God has entrusted to me to care for. The anticipation of seeing people was almost overwhelming. The night before I couldn’t hardly sleep because of the excitement. As pulled into the driveways folks came out with smiles and happiness and we talked. We really talked. Some for an hour and some for fifteen minutes. But the conversations were meaningful and beyond the surface. I want to keep the excitement of seeing friends and going deep.

These are just two things that I don’t want to go “back to normal.” What are the things that you want to keep around from this time of stay-at-home?