A New Normal I Can Live With

I’m as ready as anyone for life to begin its return back to normal, but I must say there are many things I’m enjoying and appreciating about staying home with my family. I only wish we were living this way by choice and not based on restrictions stemming from a global pandemic.
While I can’t stand the cause of the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, I’m thankful for many of its effects, or unintended consequences. After all, God is in the business of bringing good out of all things. I can’t remember the last time we went several weeks having dinner together as a family, just the five of us, nearly every single evening. The same can be said of playing card games and board games together, almost every day, as the crazy Burns clan that I love so much. And even though I’m working from home, it’s wonderful that I can take a break just about any time just to check in with my kids, or make them a snack, or perhaps even have, dare I say, a meaningful conversation?
Life is normally so busy and scheduled and practically overwhelming in the sense of striving daily to get everything done. But I’m finding that the important things are still happening. I don’t need to drive somewhere or go to a building to love and serve God, to spend time with my family, and to maintain relational connections with the other people in my life. My wife still goes to work at her clinic, since she’s a healthcare professional, but when she’s not working, she has much more time to spend with us than normal. My kids are all completing school online, even though they cannot go to physical classes or see their friends on campus. And I’m able to accomplish much of what I need to do from home, in my makeshift office.
The only bad thing about life returning to normal is that life might return to normal. That’s not a typo; normal is not necessarily good. I’m not sure I want life to be exactly as it was before. I want to remember—and put into practice—the valuable lessons I’ve learned from this period of time. I don’t want to waste the pain associated with so many good things coming to a grinding halt. As a husband and a dad, I want to continue having family meals and playing games together when it eventually becomes more difficult to do so. Even my 20-year-old son, who has only one semester of college left and will likely be married soon after that, said that we need to keep having a family game night every week. That’s a “new normal” I can live with!
This whole challenge we’ve been facing as a church and a nation is not what I would call a good thing, but God is causing much good to come out of it, as He always does. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
Troy Burns