You Cannot Go Back; But You Can Still Move Forward
I recently rented a movie whose characters, with few exceptions, were portrayed by mostly young and unknown actors. Although the film was very lengthy and the language used by a few of the characters could have stood some bleach, I enjoyed it.
After thinking about the core of the movie, I realized the subject of change was woven throughout with great creativity. Even more fascinating was how the story alluded to the differences in the way older versus younger generations handle change. Ultimately, at some time during their journey, each of the characters was required to make life-saving adjustments and at lightning speed.
Coming closer to everyday reality, the circumstances that currently exist will force each of us to adjust. Let’s begin with one of the technological changes. The word “virtual” has become a household word. It is something that can be done or seen using a computer without going anywhere except in the space that works for you.
Never used a computer? Well, now is the time to learn. Eighty years old or three years old, it does not matter. If you want to avoid becoming extinct, you will adapt. Spiritual/church, eating, work, shopping, healthcare, entertainment, family gatherings, proms, graduations, the list of virtual reality has come full circle and will control many aspects of our lives forever. “Old school” solutions will still exist, but for many of you, using a computer or other “techie” device will require drastic changes in your thinking and overcoming fear of technology.
The next change is our current attire. Recently my brother sent me a text picture of the “Plague Doctor” wearing his 17th-century garments. His isolation-like garb was a reminder, “there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) With the belief that his garments would protect him from bad air or infection, his “costume” included leggings, gloves, boots, hat, mask, and an over-clothing covering. (n.wikipedia.org › wiki › Plague_doctor_costume).
So, when we step outside in our “new normal attire,” remember it is an adaptive rehash and reminds us that we should not feel uncomfortable. It serves as our history book and puts us on notice we may be wearing this look for a while.
As we begin to re-open our economy, consider how the children of Israel whined and complained when they were in the wilderness about the changes in eating after they were delivered from slavery. God provided more than enough for them to eat in the form of coriander seed cakes known as “manna.” But like spoiled children, they sulked because it was not meat. They began looking back to Egypt, a place where they had been slaves but still had meat and fish. Needless to say, their weeping and crying angered their leader, Moses. This story concludes with the children of Israel being given the meat they craved, but some shocking consequences followed their ill-tempered behavior.
The story of Lot and his family, who escaped from certain disaster in a corrupt city, highlights the point of not returning to the past. Lot’s rescuers specifically warned him to “flee and not look back.” Lot’s wife did not follow her husband and turned back to look at the unhealthy place where they had settled. Her disobedient action was a tragic mistake. She immediately became a “pillar of salt.” This story is a major object lesson on making moving forward a priority. We may not be turned into pillars of salt, but complaining about what was past will not yield positive outcomes.
The current scenario has radically transformed our lives. When businesses re-open, they will find they must alter, shift or replace their pre-pandemic way of operating their restaurants, nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, movie theatres, other forms of entertainment, etc. We cannot go back to where we were--not ever.
Be kind to yourself and others, especially since you had no control over what happened throughout the world. Take a moment to consider the words you speak before you say them. Express gratitude for:
Like the movie characters mentioned earlier, life-saving flexibility is necessary during this changing time. It will require discipline and courage not to look back unless looking back can be used to move you forward.
"Like the movie characters mentioned earlier, life-saving flexibility is necessary during this changing time. It will require discipline and courage not to look back unless looking back can be used to move you forward.”
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