At the start of every year many people make fitness goals. While I have found that I never stick with them, my husband seems to be more successful at this than I am. Several years ago his goal was to be more flexible. It took him a couple of years and diligent practice, but he went from only being able to touch his shins to comfortably touching his toes. For him, that was quite an increase in flexibility!
The last two years have forced us to be flexible in a different way. Whether we like it or not, we had to adjust to frequent, last minute changes. The more changes that occurred the more we craved going back to our “normal” way of life. 2020 was crazy, so in 2021 we started the year desperate to go back to normal life. 2021 turned out to be crazy also, so now we are hoping that 2022 will be the year that things finally get back to normal!
But what is “normal”? Why did we like it better when things were normal? For one, I think we liked the predictability of life. We knew what to expect and when to expect it. We could go about our day doing what we wanted to. We didn’t have to be dependent on someone else letting us know what we could or couldn’t do. We could make a plan and stick with it. We could just set our autopilot and go.Not only that, in normal life we don’t have a bunch of people telling us what to do. We can be in control. We can make our own decisions. We are independent.
I wonder if this is how God intended us to live? Slipping through life on autopilot? We start going through the motions, and we do things the way we always do them. Why? Because that is how we always do it, that is what is normal. I believe if we are not careful, life on autopilot leads to complacency. It leads to missed opportunities and a temptation to sin. Demanding autonomy without following the Holy Spirit leads to self-centeredness and pride. Both of which God warns us against. Jesus modeled a life of dependence on His Father, not independence. His life was anything but ‘normal.’ He lived a flexible life where He listened to His Father’s leading and followed His plan.
What if we start a New Normal this year that is a full dependence on God? What if instead of wishing that life returns to normal, we focus on having a mindset that leads to this New Normal? A mindset that says, “No matter what happens, my source of joy is God. No matter what happens, I know God will show me the way. I will be flexible and follow His lead.” What if our New Normal is fully embracing the call of loving God and loving others with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength?
The only thing in life that is consistent is God. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. His ways are always true. His plans are always for our good. To create a new normal mindset we have to first know God and his character. We have to believe that believing and trusting in Him can lead you to a new normal life that is full of hope, peace and joy. That no matter what the circumstance you can remain steadfast and strong.
Flexible New Normal
Instead of wanting to go back to 2019, let’s make 2022 a year of creating a New Normal way of living. A year of getting to know the Lord. A year of full dependence on God, and being flexible with our plans to allow Him to change them. Let’s focus on learning how to listen to His voice and obeying it. Yes, life has been crazy, but I have a feeling that a certain level of craziness will never go away, on this side of Jesus returning. Let’s give up the false dream of how wonderful normal life would be, and instead get excited about the adventure of a life fully reliant on God! Let’s create this Flexible New Normal!