Back to Normal // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

Last week I overheard someone verbalize the question we’ve all probably been wondering: “When will things get back to normal?”

As I pondered this question, it dawned on me — we cannot get “back” to normal. Normal is not behind us. Instead, it exists in the future. Down the road justs a bit, and around the curve, we’ll find it. We won’t have to make a U-turn to get there. We have to keep moving forward. Eventually, we’ll arrive at a “new normal”. We will never again see the world exactly the same as we did on September 10, but we will find a new normal.

If the past two weeks give us any indication of how we’re changing as a nation, then I am greatly encouraged. Here are some observations I’ve made just recently:
1. “In God We Trust” has moved from a motto on a dollar to the deepest expression of our hearts.
2. “The National Anthem” has become much more than a preliminary ritual at sporting events. (I recall attending a college game a couple of years ago where some folks in the crowd chatted away during the “Star Spangled Banner”. That won’t happen again anytime soon.) I can’t imagine ever hearing this song again without a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. 3. We have rediscovered the peace and power of prayer. Whereas most countries under the same circumstances would organize angry protest marches in the streets, we went to church and lit candles. Americans are good people. They know where to find help in trouble.
4. Someone recently criticized our President for “using God” in this situation. I applaud him for encouraging people to turn to God at a time like this. I think that critic represents maybe less than 1% of our population. God will honor our nation as we honor Him.
5. The American Flag has again become the object of our deepest respect. Have you ever seen so many flags in all your life? “O say, does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”
6. We will refuse to allow fear and uncertainty to hold us hostage! We are going on with our lives.
7. America finally has some true national heroes: the firefighters, the law enforcement officers, and emergency personnel. We should never take these public servants for granted again.
8. We realize that our ultimate security is not the Pentagon, and our true strength is not our wealth.
9. We have been reminded that most of our problems aren’t as big as we had previously supposed. The “big” issues last month are puny little matters in respect to the greater picture.

These words, by Ralph Waldo Emerson are very fitting as we embark on a new chapter in American history:

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