Finding Normal

Learning resiliency when your routine is disrupted

In 1940, Nazi bombers unleashed hell on the entire civilian population of London. For 57 days, German bombers rained +18,000 tons of explosives from the sky, every night.

In spite of the terror and uncertainty, life pushed through the cracks, life in 1940 London carried on. War correspondent Mollie Panter-Downes wrote:

British men check out books from a bombed out London library. The Guardian

“The amazing part of it is the cheerfulness and fortitude with which ordinary individuals are doing their jobs under nerve-racking conditions. Little shopkeepers whose windows have been blown out paste up “Business as usual” stickers and exchange cracks with their customers. On all sides, one hears the grim phrase “We shall get used to it.”

Normal seems out of reach right now; but life will push through the cracks. It might be hard to pinpoint how resiliency will show up in your life. But here are some common threads to help strengthen our collective resiliency as we face this moment together.

Foster Rituals

Daily habits & rituals are a great way to build resiliency. Rituals introduce a level of predictablity into a disrupted routine. St. Paul fostered a regular ritual of prayer & Scripture. Take his request made from prison: “When you come, bring …also the books, and above all, the Writings.” (2 Tim. 4.13)

Choose Priorities

Resiliency has a clear eye for what matters most. In normal modern life, priorities are easily assumed. In disruption, they are the result of a conscious choice. In the middle of one the most disruptive periods of his ministry, St. Paul wrote “…on him (God) we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (2 Corinthians 1.10b) Take time to do an inventory of your priorities in this moment.

Make Space for Joy

When confined to his ice-trapped ship for 3 months, explorer Ernest Shackleton made this observation of his crew: “in the face of stern realities, and given the barest opportunity of winning food and shelter, man can live and even find his laughter ringing true” St. James made a similar observation when he reflected on persecution impacting the early church: Count it all joy my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance, and let endurance have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1.2–4)

Joy flourishes in scarcity. We may be disrupted, in danger, and unsure of the timeline. But life will return to normal at some point. But even now, life will push through the cracks. We will endure. And when normal returns, we won’t. We will be different. Let it be for the better. May we be more resilient, more loving, and more certain of the hope in Jesus.

Published by Jared Stacy

Jared is an American Pastor, writer, and PhD Candidate in Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

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