While there is much to mourn in this time of pandemic, it is also a season of opportunity.  But, this season will not last forever.  How will you take advantage of the opportunity before us?

We often find ourselves as both individuals and as a church in big, deep ruts.  We do the same thing over and over out of a sense of habit or tradition and ignoring the possibility that it no longer serves us or the mission.  So much has been interrupted in this pandemic – including some of those old habits and traditions.  But is this as an interruption or more of a disruption?  An interruption is a break or a pause.  But a disruption is a more of a disturbance, interference, forcible separation, or division of parts.  An interruption will likely only result in a hiccup, but return us back to the “norm.”  On the other hand, a disruption is something that will require us to re-think the “norm” and provide the opportunity for a change of direction or strategy.  If we treat a disruption like an interruption, it is as though we are unwilling to face reality.  We want things to go back to “normal,” so therefore we believe they will and ignore that “going back to normal” is not even an option.  We choose not to make any adjustments and then are disappointed or angry when the desired outcome did not come into fruition.

My concern is that many of us are living in denial.  We falsely believe that when things “get back to normal,” all will be well again.  We will go back to the way things were.  Friends, it is time for a reality check.  What was normal in February, is no longer a possible new normal in the future.  Ever.  That normal no longer exists.  The world has changed.  Forever.  We can’t return to Egypt.  Not possible.

Here is the beauty in what is now possible.  Since so much has been put on hold, stopped, suspended, and postponed, we have the opportunity to create a “new normal.”  It is like we all get a fresh start.  A reset.  A do-over.  My concern is that we as individuals and as churches will miss the chance.  We will slide back into the old ruts.  We will miss the opportunity to stop for good the things that should have been stopped long ago.  We will miss the opportunity to evaluate what is working now and what is no longer working.  We will miss the opportunity to acknowledge that while a particular ministry is a good thing, it is no longer effective or an employee is not able to make the necessary pivots needed.

What do you need for a fresh start?  What have you suspended that instead needs to be stopped forever?  What has stopped that needs to be re-started?  What have you stopped that should not be re-started?  What new things do we need to be considering as a faithful next step?  Let’s take this opportunity to be intentional and strategic.  Let’s see this time for the disruption that it is and not retreat back to the “old norm” seeking what is no longer an option.  Instead, let us march forward into our new future seeking what is now possible that was not possible six months ago.

“Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?  Isaiah 43:18-20 MSG