The world has changed.
The new normal is here. The word on the street is that life won’t quite ever be the same as before. What has once felt great about staying at and working from home has now turned into a repetitive reality with no end in sight.
Within some circles that I am part of, fears and anxieties abound. Mistrust deepens, and anger accumulates quietly. Uncertainty of what the future holds for us shapes our minds, visions, and actions. Both Christians and non-Christians alike, folks look for signs of hope — something they can hold on to, invest in, and expect a relatively good return on.
It turns out there are striking similarities between what we face today and what happened a few decades ago. Here’s an eye-opening piece by one of my favorite dudes, C. S. Lewis:
In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays
H/T to the Gospel Coalition for providing this excerpt.