Lisa Cooke

Lisa Cooke 2020Yes, that is a photo of me from the Spring of 2020. Someone is obviously in transition to a new normal!

I recently heard a news commentator say, “I’m so tired of hearing the phrase ‘new normal.’” Nearly everyone in the world (the only exception being Antarctica I read) has been challenged with the need to embrace new normals as we endeavor to protect each other from a disease that surprised us. Human beings for the most part do not like being forced to make changes, tending to cling to old ways of doing things because it was comfortable in its familiarity. Obviously now we realize there are times in life when we can’t keep doing things the way we’ve always done them. The question is: how can we do things differently without being freaked out about it?

There have been many articles written about the psychological effect the quarantine regulated changes in lifestyle, employment, engagement with family and friends, etc., have had on people. Something of this magnitude is bound to have an effect on us emotionally. They say this is not a time to be hard on ourselves, expecting us to be the same as we were prior to the virus impacting our countries. These changes do change us.

But life is full of transitions. We go from one season to the next whether we want to or not. Our bodies age and we find ourselves giving up some things that we used to do, or at least giving up the expectation that we can do things as quickly as we used to. Personally, this transition with my hair that started last Fall has caused me once again to realize the vital part that patience always plays during any transition. I believe there is a mental disposition that a person in transition can choose to embrace that will facilitate the inevitable change process more gracefully. 

In any change there will be things that are fairly easy to embrace and things that you find yourself resisting embracing. The interesting thing about resistance is that it can prevent change, but it may also provide a means of strengthening. 

Think about the effect wind has on a tree. There was an experiment done in a biosphere owned by the University of Arizona where trees that were planted in there didn’t mature and they collapsed. The reason? There was no wind in the biosphere as they were growing! The presence of wind is what makes a tree stronger.

What if our mental disposition was such that we viewed any resistance we might feel against a transition or change as an opportunity to be strengthened within our being? We would of course need to use discernment to evaluate if the resistance is due to something other than our discomfort, such as making a wrong decision and being out of the will of God. But if it is just “too much trouble,” or some other superficial reason, might we be avoiding doing the necessary hard work that causes growth and maturity during a transition?  

What I’m really talking about is the attitude adjustments that may be needed along the process of a transition. “Attitude is everything” they say! There is valuable ground to be gained and we likely have more control over how well a transition goes than we want to acknowledge.

Our life changes appear to be far from over at this point in the pandemic. But even without a disease that seems to be calling the shots, we recognize that God is always drawing us into new normal with Him on purpose as He is committed to growing us spirit, soul, and body. 

Lord, help us open our hearts and minds to all that You have in mind for us as we walk through the process of change and transition, new ways for new days.