A New Normal for God's Family?

After months of chaos, confusion and fear the rhetoric of ‘The New Normal’ offers some hope and stability and a way forward.
It will have very different pros and cons for us all. But it has many of the same dangers.

1. Compromise
If we aren’t careful chaos can actually become an excuse for compromise. Things we would never normally do or find acceptable suddenly seem OK. Accountability is easier to dodge and standards are lowered in the name of survival.
What’s struck me, in my life as well as the world, has been the quick jump from a drive towards reusable, no waste, low waste lifestyles to using 500 bottles of hand gel per household a day and changing face masks every time we breathe!
Principles we were so passionate about die quickly when our comfort or security are challenged.

2. Disconnection
Although the height of isolation for most of us is over, with long term working from home on the cards for many and social distancing measures still advised, there is a danger we get too comfortable with our own company. That ‘Zoom fatigue’ pushes us into shorter and shorter interactions and can lull us into believing all interactions are as fatiguing.

3. Introspection
And with that comes introspection. Whilst a definite perk of lockdown and being stuck in our own four walls has hopefully led to improved family or housemate relationships (overall, if not always!), I fear the biggest danger of lockdown has been the false sense that ‘my’ family is all that matters.

4 .Comfort
What I find scary is how quickly comfort can spring from chaos, via a lot of compromise. I fear I’m getting too comfortable in my four walls, too used to a quieter life, too happy with guidance that restricts my movements.

I’m concerned that one result of lockdown could be a loss of contact with my real family, my ‘Christ family’ who Jesus teaches are more important than my spouse or blood children (although let’s obviously not chuck out all good teaching on parenting and marriage, etc.)

The New Normal cannot just mean minding our own business, keeping our distance and cracking on. We must push ourselves once again out of any false comfort and compromise we have built as a way or survival these last months and back into the messy, counter-cultural, upside-down teaching of Jesus on what it means to be the family of God.

Emily Williams