Every day we experience a “new normal.” Channel 27 reports, “Some businesses have had a tough time adjusting as social distancing, and stay-at-home orders become the new normal.” What in the world is a new normal? Everything I do anymore is far from normal. Oddly enough, the “new normal” today will be outdated tomorrow; I usually do not repeat my “new normal” in tomorrow’s daily routines. One day I am laughing at the idea of wearing a homemade mask, and the next day I’m wearing one.
One of the “new normal” activities that I am trying nowadays is attending meetings online through “Zoom.” There, small and large groups can gather to conduct their business. Different internet speeds make conversations interesting at best and frustrating for sure. Still, it is one way of making the best of a bad situation. I hope no one gets too attached to Zoom. After this time of separation, I want to see people face to face. I want to read their body language and see their expressions.
One “new normal” that I can do without is making and watching videos of church services. I want to be with others when I worship the LORD. Yes, I have wonderful times with God by myself, but there is something really missing when I cannot gather with others. And believe it or not, it is not just about me—how I feel, the energy of the crowd, the ability to blend in. No, it is about God not receiving the unity of praise that his people bring him when they are together. Some Sundays, I feel like I am robbing God when we are not together.
In this “new normal,” I will do the best I can to provide content to my church family that can keep us somewhat on the same page. This, however, is far from what the church should be. I pray that we will not be “locked down” much longer. Instead, I pray that we will be free to gather together again, free to serve people face-to-face, and free to be the church once more. Until then, I will allow God to shape me during this “new normal.” I hope you will do the same.
Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Eric grew up in the little town of Gibraltar, PA with his grandparents. He met his wife Cheryl while working at Good’s Greenhouse in Bowmansville, PA. He has three adult children and values watching them grow into the people God wants them to be.