Leading a Normal Life
December 8, 2020
by Ken Jones
What is it, do you suppose, about “normal” life that is so perplexing? Somehow, most of us have a deep need or desire for understanding what “normal life” is supposed to look like. I don’t know about you, but I have been known to wonder, at times, if I’m normal? Wonder if it’s okay for me to be the way I am?
There’s a couple of ways to look at normal life, I think. If I’m living my life in a normal way, it may mean that I’m conforming to some regular pattern or the way I most often do things. My normal pattern in the morning, for example, is to have coffee while I read Scripture and write in my journal, before the rest of the household has a chance to stir. I like my “normal” pattern. There are so many things about my normal life that are just “normal” for me. I drive a predictable route to my office. It’s normal for me to do so. If I order a three-piece box of chicken at KFC, I always save the best piece of chicken for last. I don’t eat the chicken wing—that’s my favorite part of fried chicken—I don’t eat the chicken wing first. I save it for last, because, well, that’s the normal way I eat my fried chicken.
But what if? What if someone like you happens to be watching me eat my chicken, and you say to yourself, “Man, that guy is weird the way he eats his chicken.” How many people watch me every day in my normal life, and think I’m strange because of the way I live? Do I stick out in the crowd? Are there times when people around me might look at how I live my life and think I’m a bit “quirky” or “not normal?” For most people, I think there’s a hidden fear of not being “normal,” because, of course, if I’m not “normal,” … well, then, I must be abnormal. And who in the world would want to be abnormal.
Standing on taped lines on the floor isn’t normal. Breathing and talking through masks we carry around in our pockets doesn’t feel normal, either. I choose not to define my life by what isn’t normal.
I don’t want to live my life by any other standard than His model and design for me. And that design isn’t average or normal. It’s extraordinary. As Paul of old said, “…I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, ESV). The “way” I need to live my life has been clearly marked out for me in God’s Word. I don’t need some imaginary line on the floor of my life to let me know where I need to be standing. I need to be in compliance with the very Word of God.
The Psalmist wrote it down in Psalm 119:
“Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!
Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.
As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!” (Psalm 119:5-7, NLT).