With the advent of COVID’19, life as we know it has been turned upside down. For many of us, this is probably the most terrifying experience we have ever had, that a virus – an unseen atom, can put the whole world on a standstill. We have heard of instances like this that have occurred in the past, but before now, it seems like something impossible, like a fairy tale. Who would have thought, as we all wished ourselves a happy new year on January 1st 2020 that life as we know it was about to change.

Maybe we even had a hint, there were prophecies from churches, and predictions in books/documentaries as we have seen going around… But still, no one could have envisioned such a drastic change to human life as we have seen in the last months.

I think I am especially hit hard with this circumstance because I happen to live in New York City, the current epicenter of the virus. As I hear sirens buzzing day and night and see the numbers of people who are either being infected or dying on a daily basis, I am forced to reflected deeply on my life and my life choices.

The other day, we got a notification that everyone is to stay home to curb the spread of the virus, and only ‘Essential’ workers are to go to work. On reading that notification, my mind immediately started to wonder, who are essential workers, and what are essential services? I always thought my job was essential, but in the grand scheme of things, is it really? A few hours later, we were given a list of what was considered ‘essential’ and those who are allowed to go to work – of course I was among those who were to work from home.

As I went over that list, I saw some profession that I agreed were essential, but then, I saw others that I didn’t think were because I was so used to having them, it didn’t seen ‘important’ until now. There were others that I always thought were essential but it turns out, I can actually live without them. It also made me appreciate some professions that always thought were ordinary, like the guy who delivers my groceries, or the cashier in the stores, or the garbage or mail man, the internet service provider and so on. I appreciate these professions much more now because I don’t know what I would do without them.

This has also made me re-evaluate what were essential in my personal life before now and what should be. I pose the same question to you, how many of the goals that you set at the beginning of the year matter now? Did you include spending more time with your families, or being intentional about making your relationship work, or checking in more often with your friends? were these part of what you considered essential when setting your goals?

I bet if you asked the people who have lost their life to this pandemic what were their last memories on earth, it won’t be their jobs, or the amount of money in their bank accounts. It would either be about the relationships they have had or the ones they were too busy to build.

So many of us are saying stuff like, “I can’t wait for life to go back to normal” but I don’t know about you, I don’t want my old normal back, I want to leave this season stronger, better, more refined, more appreciative of life and much more connected to God and to my family.

My question to you today is: “When all of these is over, what would be you new normal?”…

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