The New Normal

You've probably heard the phrase "the new normal".  It refers to how things have changed and often is applied to things that were once unusual, but now are so common, they are "the new normal".

After completing the 21 day fast, I'm left with my own feeling of "the new normal".  I find that the fast helped me to step out of long established patterns for eating, drinking, praying and reading and to consider how to cultivate my spiritual and physical life in a different way.  While I know I won't stick indefinitely with the kind of fast or the intensity of spiritual focus I was observing, the standards I set for myself helped me see how I had slipped into a comfort zone that wasn't the best of what my life could be.

I can remember many times over the years at camp meetings, youth retreats, conferences, and revival meetings where people expressed that their whole lives had changed in the events of a weekend or a week and that their lives would be forever different.  They would proclaim, sometimes through tears, "I am never going to be 'normal' again," or "I will never be the same."  Six days or six weeks or six months later, one could find these people back to their same old grind.  Lasting change was not an outcome of the quick decision.

That's not to say that life-change can't come from going to camp or in an instant in church.  I know it can, as my whole life changed forever in July 1982 when I found Christ as my Savior at a church camp.  I would never be the same again.  I've met countless others who responded to altar calls or received miraculous deliverances in the matter of minutes.

The point I'm making is that real, lasting change usually comes about through deliberate processes, repeated over time.  That's the power of an extended fast.  Beyond the fact that we took the journey over three weeks, there was a sort of accountability worked into it because it was a corporate endeavor.

Today, as you're looking to find the "new normal" in your own journey with God's Spirit, I'd like to encourage you to start by finding processes that involve some kind of discipline and that use accountability to keep you on the track moving toward personal transformation.

In the end, you'll find that lasting change comes through something that takes more time rather than finding the answer overnight through a quick-fix.