Have you ever played kickball? Do you remember those red rubber balls that littered playgrounds for decades? Can you picture that red ball’s shape changing when it received a perfect kick? The ball deformed for a split second before returning to round and traveling in a new direction. That is how I was taught the concept of resiliency.
We have been through the trauma of a pandemic, and people are eager to “bounce back” to normal. Resiliency calls for a different type of journey. To be resilient is to maintain your shape as you travel in a new direction. We don’t bounce back; we bounce forward.
Think about the lessons you’ve learned behind a mask, isolated, or quarantined. While we lost a lot, we also learned a lot about ourselves, our community, and our world. Let’s not be so quick to get “back” to a normal that we didn’t always like. Let’s not miss the chance to move “forward” into a new normal with a better understanding of ourselves and our connections.
If you learned that you need a little down time from people to recharge your emotional batteries, don’t rush back into over committing yourself to every event and opportunity. If you enjoyed spending more time with your family, don’t be too quick to rush out of the house and back to the old demands of the world. Our goal as followers of Christ is not to return to the ways things were. Rather, our call as Christians is to hold our shape as we live into the new things that God is doing.
Yes, I’m glad when I get to sit and eat a meal with a member, friend, or colleague. It is a wonderful experience, and I am thrilled to be able to do that again! I also learned how much we need each other, and I don’t want to rush away from a lunch to another meeting in the frenetic pace of the pre-pandemic world. I want to maintain the pandemic lesson of intentionality and take the extra time with someone, especially after learning how much we truly rely on one another.
Sunday morning worship is looking more and more like it did before last March, and we rejoice! It is not a move “back” to what always was. It is a move “forward” with resiliency, grace, and hope.
With love and gratitude,