The “New Normal”. I keep hearing that phrase and I refuse to accept that this is anything even remotely “normal”. Sure, it’s a different season that is requiring us to make some fairly radical life changes, but just like any Winter, there’s always a Spring. And we will return to the way we were, at least for the most part, sooner than later. As I’ve been pondering the season we are in, I feel led to ask a question to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ: “During this crazy season, what parts of the ‘old normal’ have we discovered that we really don’t need to drag back into life when it returns to our pre-quarantine normal?”
There are two verses in the Bible that God has had me dwelling on lately:
“Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” — James 1:23-24
As a parachurch minister and full-time author/speaker, I’ve been stripped down to nothing. Every event we had scheduled through May has canceled, and June may be yet another series of cancellations. Our finances hang in the balance. My weekly routine of hopping on and off of planes to speak to a group of men has been replaced by staying home. My once-longed-for desire of just pulling the plug and sitting in front of the TV has been replaced by being absolutely tired of TV. And as this has happened, I have come to the harsh reality that I’ve looked into a mirror many times over the past decade, only to immediately forget what I look like.
But now it’s not just a single mirror that I can simply turn away from. With every distraction, and even my very occupation, being temporarily removed, I feel like I’m standing in a veritable Fun House full of mirrors. And no matter where I turn, there’s another mirror in front of me. Just like that Fun House, every mirror casts a different reflection – a radically distorted reflection of who God truly wants me to be.
My “Husband Mirror” zooms into me close up, revealing that I’ve spent way too much time being “Me” centered. I always talk about my day and rarely ask about hers.
The “Spending Time with Family Mirror” casts a skinny reflection, showing me that I don’t spend enough time with them.
The “Tithing Mirror” distorts me so that I look fat, clearly reflecting that I’ve been storing up instead of sowing. The unfounded fear of lack has caused me to keep it all for myself. I’ve grown bloated from withholding what really belongs to God.
My “Fatherhood Mirror” sometimes just makes me disappear completely, as I’ve focused on work and ministry year after year after year.
My “Time with God Mirror” makes me look short. Just like the time I spend with Him.
Everywhere I turn, God is revealing something that I’ve been doing my way, and now, no matter which direction I turn, He shows me something else. I can no longer turn and walk away from one mirror and forget, because there’s always yet another mirror in front of me.
And one by one, in the midst of seemingly having nothing left, He is revealing that I already have everything. We all do.
So much good is coming out of this season:
I’m spending more quality face-to-face time with my wife, and I’m listening more than I’m speaking. Or at least I’m a work in progress with that one.
I’m now more connected with my kids than I have been in years, because I’m intentional about reaching out to them. Nothing is competing for my time.
In spite of not knowing what our financial future holds, and facing a monumental shift in our day-to-day life as a ministry, I’ve rededicated myself to being an obedient and joyful tither because God says: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” – Malachi 3:10 NIV
With the gym closed, and no urgent email replies needed, I’ve again put my quiet time with God in first position. And not just a verse or two, but dedicated time to study His Word, meditate on it, and devoted prayer time.
I’ve made a solemn commitment to not carry my old habits back into my life after this momentary time of introspection. I’m pressing into the King of kings, and I’m leaving the results up to Him. I’m going to emerge from this season with only a single mirror, and I won’t forget what I look like ever again.
What about you? What is God showing you in this time of mandatory rest and solitude?
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” – Philippians 1:6 NKJV
David Dusek is founder and director of Rough Cut Men Ministries, author of the #1 Best Selling “Rough Cut Men: A Man’s Battle Guide to Building Real Relationships With Each Other and With Jesus” and creator of the “Who Has Your Six” Men’s Ministry Video Series. Rough Cut Men has been presented to NASCAR teams, at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy, at military bases around the world and at hundreds of churches and men’s conferences of every denomination around the world. To find out more about the Rough Cut Men, or to book David for an upcoming men’s event, head over to our website and Contact Us.