Normal has been something I have worked to avoid since I can remember. It seemed so boring, so average, so predictable, so flat.
No, normal wasn’t for me.
I have seen normal. Normal goes through the motions. Normal is dedicated to maintaining the status quo. Normal doesn’t lead, it doesn’t change, it doesn’t dream, it doesn’t grow.
Normal is carried along with the flow of culture, never asking questions like why? or why not? Normal doesn’t think for itself. Someone or something else does that for normal.
Normal just is – and only barely.
Normal survives, but without smiling. Normal is purposeless, hopeless, joyless.
Normal is easy but not simple. The maintenance of all definitions of normal can be complicated.
Normal can be exhausting. Normal doesn’t serve the individual but the masses.
Normal is about fitting in even when standing out. Some forms of rebellion are considered “normal.” Acting out is “normal.” Breaking promises is “normal.”
Normal is not criticized. No, it is hailed as a good goal, good for society, good for individuals, good for peace, good for sanity, good and comfortable.
Normal means you have dysfunctional family members. It means you argue with your spouse. It means that your teenager doesn’t talk to you or is experimenting with drugs or is promiscuous.
Normal means you watch too much TV or indulge in steamy novels or you eat too much. It’s normal not to like your mother-in-law, normal to speed, normal to cheat on your taxes. “Everybody does it” is the mantra of Normal.
Normal means a smile and a wink. Being normal means you’re in the club, you’ve passed the initiation, you’ve given in, you’ve compromised your convictions, you’ve lowered your standards. It means you’re one of the group, you’ve given in or up, whatever, who cares. You’ve succumbed.
Like a chameleon, you change with the surroundings. You do whatever it takes to blend in. Everything becomes negotiable, even beliefs, all for the sake of being normal.
Can you hear the words of Vi from The Incredibles? “Normal? What does this family know about being normal? I just want to be normal!”
What is at the heart of our wanting to be normal? Is it our desire to fit in, to be a part, to be accepted? We all want to be loved. Being left out, being misunderstood, being ridiculed isn’t fun. It’s lonely.
Who wants to stand out? No one. People who stand out pay the price.
Normal is celebrated. When Normal is personified there is a collective sigh of relief.
No fear of being challenged or doing anything hard or exerting any effort.
People like other people who just go with the flow, who don’t cause a stir, who are laid back.
Normal often lives in the middle of denial. Normal says things like “everything will be okay” or “we should just pray” or “time will tell.” Normal is inactive.
Normal averts its eyes when it catches a glimpse of abuse. Normal walks away instead of intervening.
But the characters we cheer for in movies, the people who change the world, those who really make a difference, who save lives and change the course of history -they are NOT normal.
They refuse inaction and passivity when a case could be made for both. They stand up knowing that bullets are flying. They do what needs to be done when no one else will. They dare to break the silence instead of keep the peace. They know that some things are worth fighting for.
They set their jaw. They roll up their sleeves. They stand tall. They speak up. They are misunderstood. They are shunned. They are criticized. They are focused. They are determined. They are heroes.
Normal doesn’t stand when others bow. Normal doesn’t pray in defiance of the King’s edict. Normal doesn’t run out to face a giant armed only with 5 smooth stones. Normal doesn’t build an altar, douse it with water and then trust God to light the fire. Normal doesn’t go searching in the back alleys for a wayward wife again and again. Normal doesn’t cooperate to rebuild a wall in 52 days. Normal doesn’t approach a King who banished the last uninvited visitor.
Normal doesn’t live in such a way as to be chosen as the mother of the Messiah.
Normal doesn’t blindly submit to carry God’s Son as a virgin. Normal doesn’t wait on Him to reveal Himself and just ponder things in her heart.
Normal doesn’t humble itself. It doesn’t keep silent. It doesn’t resist retaliation. It doesn’t stay focused. It doesn’t notice the downcast, the lonely, the despairing.
Abnormal is considered bad, unless it’s good.
Are you ready? It’s time to live life outside of the “normal” box.