Isn’t Normalcy Overrated?

A few days ago I heard Mark Batterson speak.  And I really enjoyed it.  A colleague from his church, Heather Zempel, also spoke.  They were powerful, both of them.  And one of the themes was “going all in,” committing fully to Jesus’ ways and invitation.

So in a group discussion after their talks, we were asked something like “Why do you think you don’t go ‘all in’?” And I blurted out, “Because I’d become even less normal than I already am.”

And I had an epiphany soon thereafter: I don’t even value normalcy all that much, so why should that stop me from pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly or from obeying him?  I might (and do) have other excuses for my lapses of faith, gaps in obedience, general “jerkyness,” but why should fear of being less normal slow me down?  I’m the person whose own son said to me, “Mom, you’re weird… but that’s good!”

Today I was walking out of the gym, and I felt the strong wind, and I was listening to a great song, and I just stopped and thought, “This is one of those moments when life is perfect, the sort of confluence of forces and sources that makes me glad to be alive.  Let me stop and savor it.”

So first I stood there just taking it all in.  Which frankly is weird enough, if anyone happened to be watching. People don’t just STAND THERE; they need to be DOING SOMETHING.  And then I really, really wanted to twirl around.  So I did.  And I don’t think anyone was watching (I did sort of make sure).  But what if they were? Would the planet stop spinning if someone showed one one-thousandth of the joy they were feeling in a given moment?

It reminded me of a time when I was probably 15, and I went out side in spring (I’m a sucker for 68 degree days), and I chopped off little sprigs of azalea bushes and tucked them in all over my clothes — belt loops, neckline, sleeves, shoelaces — and behind my ears.  And I twirled around in the front yard, feeling free and having fun. Until I realized that a boy that I had a crush on was driving by.  And until this very moment of typing I’d repressed the fact that he later asked me out and then cancelled before the date.  Perhaps he remembered my childlike lack of dignity expressed in an azalea dance and thought I’d be too much for him on the dance floor. Oh well.

Anyway, I’m not averse to feeling things and letting it be known.  Often in times of worshipping God, I’ll feel tears coming.  Actually I tear up fairly often.  Sometimes it’s out of a sense of awe or gratitude to God.  Maybe it’s because I think the inside of a flower is so cool and it just has such God-designed order to it.  Maybe it’s because I’m glad I didn’t die of cancer back in 1994 when that monster snuck up on me.  I got to watch my children become cool adults; I got to meet my son-in-law and granddaughter.  I got to grow to appreciate my own voice.  I got to see David Byrne’s amazing concert a while back.  I got to eat more onion rings and meet more intriguing (former) strangers.

Life is just good.  Even when it’s painful and awful too.  And I’m glad I get to experience it. And that’s worth a few tears.  What else should be our reaction to wonder, to worship?

God is as real to me as a hangnail, as real as my own breath.  And I know that the deeper I go with him, the weirder I get.

But oh well, I’m in.  All the way.  Even it makes me less normal.

Normalcy is overrated.

Why be normal?

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~ by Cary on May 10, 2011.

5 Responses to “Isn’t Normalcy Overrated?”

  1. yay! you were a whirling dervish! 🙂

  2. Of course that picture is perfect. It’s the one that’s worth 1000 words, or however many words your latest blog entailed. Thank you for making me chuckle at my lowest-energy part of my day — just b4 dinner. -mp

  3. A great post and a great reminder to be myself!

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