We have to learn to be okay with losing the ‘old normal’, says Sheffield minister

I’m still living off the memories of our family holiday by the coast of France this August.

Saturday, 12th September 2020, 12:30 pm
The Reverend Nick Allan

Nearby, we discovered a quaint creperie one afternoon. It was a beautiful sight because the Covid-secure, open-air seating overlooked a tidal inlet packed full of small local fishing boats.

Bobbing along they looked lovely in the sunshine, but the café was full, so we booked a table for the next night.

However, when we returned it was to a slightly shocking scene...

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The lapping water had gone and those boats afloat on our first visit were now grounded, keeled over to one side, exposed and bare on a muddy bed. They were going nowhere.

It reminded me of a conversation with a Sheffield friend whose business was shrinking because of the prevailing economic conditions, yet his boss was pressurising him for better results that he knew he couldn’t produce.

He flung has hands in the air saying: “When the tide goes out, the tide goes out.”

Life has limiting seasons. Times when we find we can’t do what we always did, when what once worked well no longer works at all. Times when the tide goes out all of a sudden and I feel myself grounded.

Just like this Covid season, when limitations seem all around us, and it feels so frustrating that the old ‘normal’ has gone.

Do you know what? That’s life, and we have to learn to be okay with it.

As a church pastor, I spend time with many people in limiting seasons because of sickness, family troubles, job issues or mental health.

In Christians, I see people whose faith gives them perseverance in times of trial and a perspective to see beyond temporary troubles.

This lament in the Bible sums it up: “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

If the tide has gone out for you at the moment remember it will return, and hold on to hope in the meantime.

The Reverend Nick Allan is a minister at The Well Church, Ecclesall Road, Sharrow.See wellsheffield.com