We share something globally in these days. Something we have never seen before. The looming threat of a rogue virus that will be another game changer. Every once in a while these events take place and we are never the same.

People are talking about a new normal. Dr. Carmen Stuart is the first person I ever remember hearing them from. I was a couple weeks out of my first hospital stay. For twelve days I was given care for a reaction to a yellow-fever shot. I had kidney failure, extreme weakness that kept me from standing and numbness from my rib cage to the bottom of my feet. Atrial Fibrillation and neuropathy in both legs were my takeaways.

So she asked me one Sunday morning after I was able to resume preaching, “How are you feeling?” I told her that I thought I should be doing better at that point. She suggested that I was likely in a process of discovering my new normal. Her thoughts were that most of us function at a level in which we are too busy. It’s really not normal. We forget self-care and the relationships that are most life-giving are largely ignored or taken for granted. Sickness reveals what normal really should have been from the start … it causes us to slow down and teaches us what really is important. Our illusions of grandeur bow to the reality that we are mortal after all.

Aspiring to what was, is not the thing that we really want. Accepting our limitations … and they are there whether we are sick or robust, is critical to spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual and relational well-being. We were never meant to have all the answers, all the ability, all the resources to cure what ails the world. Like every other person we have a part to play but that is all. Often when we feel over burdened or hyper responsible, we miss the part that we have. We discount it as not of sufficient worth.

Today we all have a part to play as well. You can believe whatever you want to believe about the danger of Covid 19 … until you lose someone close to you, you may never take it as seriously as you should. Until things are different, our part is to trust those who have medical knowledge and follow instructions. Those who believe that they are exempt will make this a much more protracted experience.

I’m going to remember my days in grade school when I simply did what was asked of me. They were simpler days with challenges of their own. But they were foundational for my entire life. If we are to learn, we must remain teachable.

God help us to have the humility required to trust