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The New Different

Published on September 30, 2020

Dan Britton



For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. — Isaiah 43:19

As I travelled to our 6th Annual FCA International Leader Conference in Dubai at the beginning of March, I knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our leaders to gather for training, celebration and encouragement. Little did we know that we were the last conference allowed in the country that was granted permission to finish.

Following our conference, I traveled to India to train staff, coaches and board members. My trip was cut short as I was advised to return immediately as a result of COVID-19. At the time, I was confused as to why everybody was so concerned. I flew back into the U.S. through JFK Airport in New York, and suddenly I realized why I was instructed to return immediately. Everything had changed! Instead of quickly getting through customs like normal, I was ushered by the CDC to go into a side room. Hours later and missing several connections, I was finally released and allowed to get a flight back to Kansas City.

I am very thankful that I returned when I did, even though I wanted to stay in India to finish the training. It’s incredible how things can change so quickly, especially when facing a pandemic. Several of our leaders who were returning to their countries are still displaced as result of their countries closing their borders! Two of our leaders said they were told their country will open June of next year—that will be almost a year and half since the conference in Dubai.

During the past six months, I have observed people responding to the pandemic in one of three ways:

  1. Head Down: The loss, pain and regret has led to discouragement and disappointment.
  2. Head Spinning Around: The breaking news and constant updates has led to distraction and doubt.
  3. Head Up: The crisis and problems has led to determination and decisiveness.

For me, I have responded in all three ways at different times, but I do believe my head has been up most of the time with my eyes looking forward and believing the best is yet to come. It has been hard because everyone is off—either a lot or a little. We are all trying to figure it out and asking God for answers during these unprecedented times.

Everybody talks about the “new normal,” but I think it is the “new different.” There is nothing normal about this pandemic. It has altered everything and stretched us all. It will be completely different from now on. Normal will never be the same! Even our ministry changed overnight as we quickly launched FCA Virtual so that we could continue to serve coaches and athletes around the world.

Isaiah’s words are so encouraging for us as we persevere through the current times. Read slowly his words again and mediate on each sentence.

For I am about to do something new.     See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.     I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

The Lord is doing something new, and the only way we can see it is if we have our head up looking for it. If our head is down or spinning around, we will miss it. God is making a clear pathway for His people to bring hope and blessing.

Let’s embrace the “new different” and realize: 

  1. God is always doing something new.
  2. God is always working.
  3. We need to keep our head up to see it.
  4. God provides during the greatest difficulties.  

Let’s keep our head up with determination and decisiveness. God is the Way Maker, and He is doing a new thing. Imagine if all us would look at this pandemic through the lens of Isaiah 43:19. Do you see God doing a new thing? Have you embraced it? Are you willing to let go of the way it was? Don’t miss God’s work being done God’s way.

Father, help me to embrace the new different. I believe that You are doing a new thing and I want to see Your work being done Your way. Give me the eyes to see and the faith to believe.  In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.