Wednesday Word: Anchors
COVID-19 has been many things over the past 21 months or so, but it has probably never been referred to as a blessing. It may not have been a blessing, but it did cause us to learn, adjust, and adapt at a different pace than before – which may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view.
I remember hearing stories of people learning to reconnect with their families. I heard stories of people learning to bake. I heard stories of people learning new skills and trying new things. Those were the good stories that we all craved to hear about during months of lock-downs and worries.
Now that things are beginning to loosen up, now that vaccinations are becoming more common and people are getting their booster shots, now that people are feeling more safe and comfortable (despite our infection numbers telling a different story), it seems people are eager to get “back to normal.” It seems people are eager to put this chapter behind them and move on. But we will never “get back to normal,” because this is our normal. And we will never put this chapter behind us because too much of it will move forward with us.
As we move forward, I think it's worth asking ourselves, “What was the good during the worst of the pandemic that we can take with us?” Because it does seem that, in our rush to get back to normal, we are leaving behind some practices that we could stand to take with us.
Maybe you began a family game night, but now that things are back to normal that has been left behind. Maybe you developed a new prayer practice, but now that things are back to normal you find you don't have the time. Maybe it was baking bread on Saturday, but now that things are back to normal it's just easier to buy a loaf from the store. Or maybe it was just having the time to slow down, but now that things are back to normal you find you can't even do that.
In the midst of tragedy or difficult times or even global pandemics I think we can always find something good to appreciate. The trick is to figure out how to carry those good things forward so that we don't get back to what was normal but to help create a new normal that is more conducive to our good health – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
And it just might be that those good things you found during difficult times are what will anchor you and keep you from being pulled into ever more chaotic waters.