𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗡𝗼𝗿𝗺𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗡𝗲𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗿𝘆!
Why we do what we do
Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty. (Brene Brown) A norm is a principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior. Principles are passed down and often go unchecked for accuracy or relevance. When questioning repeated activities, the mantra of” this is how we’ve always done it” is shared with no rhyme or reason as to why. Change is usually viewed as cumbersome and is seen as an affront to those who are comfortable. Fear of the unknown is the biggest culprit that keeps people imprisoned in systems and processes that are no longer effective.
Life gets so hectic that the time it takes to stop and evaluate why something isn’t working is daunting. There is the appearance of effectiveness on the surface, but what happens when we pull back the covers? Are our efforts more about avoiding exposure and less about getting to and practicing excellence? What has worked in the past is based on what occurred in the past. Innovation creates opportunities for enhancements and evolution. This is not merely about doing things differently for the sake of being different. This is about using the resources that we have been given to be better and accomplish more. “For whom much is given, much is required.” (Luke 12:48)
” Remember when...” can be misleading
”Nostalgia is also a dangerous form of comparison. Think about how often we compare our lives to a memory that nostalgia has so completely edited that it never really existed.” (Brene Brown) Allegiances to things of the past can create internal weights that can have us bogged down and even buried under outdated beliefs. We are tricked into believing that if we see things differently or move away from places, we are somehow betraying those who came before us. There is another more insidious thought at work. Staying in what’s familiar allows me to hide behind who I am pretending to be. Vulnerability is something we avoid because no one likes feeling exposed. We only want people to see what we deem as acceptable or view us as having it together.
We must remember that it is possible to be the teacher and the student simultaneously. You know what you know. You know what you don't know. But you don’t know what you don’t know? Holding on to what was will keep you from getting to what God intends. What you deem as safe and secure will sometimes keep you stuck and stagnate. “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” (Luke 5:4 NLT) There is more on the other side of what’s been ritual and routine in your life.
New Norms are Necessary
At the same time, the entire world has been forced to review and change their SOP - their Standard Operating Procedures. What worked pre-pandemic no longer applies. We are struggling to try to create and operate in new norms. I see it on so many levels. I went from working out of an office to working from home, watching teachers struggle to teach children via Zoom, and conducting church service from home on a virtual platform instead of gathering together in a building. Not to mention the inability to go to the hospital with your sick love ones or saying goodbye to some when they transition. We are being compelled to think differently about how we do life.
Having our routine taken away has caused many people great anxiety. Trying to figure out how to function in a new way has stirred up some’s trepidation of the unknown. But here is another thought; in some cases, the pandemic has revealed what wasn’t and who wasn’t working in the first place. And if nothing else, this pandemic has made me assess what I need to do differently to be the best version of myself. In this social-distancing that sometimes seems like isolation, I am attempting to clarify who I am supposed to be in this season. I am trying to move from merely operating in my Zone of Competence and Excellence to my Zone of Genius. (Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap) All of this will require me to create new norms.
I recognize, there is more for me to learn. Teaching is what I love, but it is my role as a student that will generate fresh opportunities. I also understand that the collaboration and collective contributions of both young and senior will help us create contemporary solutions for the season that we are in. We must stop fighting to hold on to outmoded beliefs that no longer attend to our present-day needs and serve God’s purpose for our lives. "It takes a lot more courage to let something go than it does to hang on to it, trying to make it better." (Iyanla Vanzant) If this moment has taught us nothing else, change is unavoidable, and new norms are necessary. Embrace your new norms.