Let's Not Go Back!

We have a family member who is the proprietor of a highly specialized and successful business in a major East Coast city. During a recent conversation. he surprised me by remarking, "I don't want to go back to the normal we were in before (the COVID-19 Pandemic)! Let's rebuild something better!" Although admitting that "we shut down our business and let everyone go in the hope of re-hiring whenever we get the green light," he was strongly advocating for change as things slowly begin to reopen in his city.
Image compliments of lifehack.org

Change is inevitable and becoming our new reality. I've heard many comments in the past weeks that we will not be returning to the "old normal" without substantial medical intervention like a vaccine or antibody therapies. So, what will things look like in the future? What should they look like?

We can only speculate that things will be different as we move forward. There are the familiar protocols of masks and social distancing and perhaps, temperature checks. These will surely be practices we'll see for some time. That's why many of us are slow to embrace these changes in our lifestyle. We liked the way things were before all of this!

We're still a little too close to all of this to significantly and comprehensively evaluate and say what lasting lessons are to be learned. Yet, there are some emerging applications for life that will require us to take some personal inventory. For example, we need to ask what will my life look like or what needs to change in our lives as a result of this Pandemic? Now, I could inject some slight humor here and say that many will need a good haircut by a professional! I have seen some gnarly hairdos on the heads of television personalities these past weeks of lockdown! 👦

Though we may self-describe as being slow to embrace change, I think we are doing better than we give ourselves credit. We have proven that we can cope, adjust, anticipate while we wait for things to evolve. Even though we like eating out and it is good for our hospitality economy, we have proven to ourselves that we can shelter in place and cook our own meals. And some of them have been very good!

Yes, I like a good hug from our grandchildren and engaging in hardy handshakes with friends, but we have proven that we can keep up with family and friends without hugs, handshakes, fist-bumps and other usual expressions of social and physical contact. We have also proven that we can virtually worship, participate in Bible studies and prayer meetings. We can work and school from home. We can give to feed the poor and needy, show appreciation for essential workers, and serve our nearest neighbors while restricted to our homes.

Sure, there have been sacrifices. Everything hasn't been satisfying, yet we have demonstrated that we can be patient, persevering, connecting, compassionate, creative, innovative, appreciative, thankful, resourceful and responsible. If the definition of change is making or becoming different. Many of us have already seen some considerable transformation and growing maturity in our attitudes and desires that are realigning our priorities as a result of this weeks-long shutdown. I think our family member may be on to something... "Let's rebuild something better!"

We, as people of faith, should be quite familiar with change. The Holy Spirit impacts our lives each day. He is changing us to reflect God's glory (2 Cor. 3:18). John says, "We have passed from death to life" (Jn. 5:24). Paul reminds, "All things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17). At our baptism it was affirmed that we have been "raised to newness of life in Christ Jesus!" The matters of change should be "old hat" to us!  We should be expecting it as we walk with Christ! Something is wrong if we are not undergoing change!

Management specialists say that change can be strategic, developmental and directional.  As you personally reflect on all that has happened to you and your loved ones in these last couple of months, be sure to prayerfully ask, "Lord, what do you want to change in me?" Then, follow His transformational leading in your life and with His help, let's determine to "rebuild something better!"

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


  1. We need to keep our focas on God, a He has a plan for us all. He loves us and will take Care of us if we trust in Him. Nothing stays the same except God.

    1. Well said! Our God is the only constant... "the same yesterday, today and forever!"


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