Sunday, February 21, 2010

Forgetting To Be Normal

I'm re-posting this blog entry as it continues to speak so deeply to me, as in, "what really is normal anyway."

The following is what came to mind in responding to a friend, Mike Rule.

I like what you said here: “If I am brutally honest, so do I - at least at the fleshly level. I wish we could all be honest about it, what this death of self life is really like. It gets glamorized somehow, like it is a badge to wear... but I'll be the first to say, it sucks too.”

My wife and I were talking about something very similar the other day coming back from a follow-up consultation about an MRI I had. We had just listened to the latest God Journey podcast featuring Wayne and Brad entitled, ‘Fragrance of the Father’, and it stirred up so many things, for example life’s hurts, pains, disappointments to name but a few. We are still processing it all.

We are beginning to see that we all, for the most part, live (according to us) a pretty mundane, monotonous, lackluster repetitious day in day out lifestyle. If our lives were not as bland or flavorless as they are, then how could we be attracted to the sizzle of the spectacular or sensational?
I said to my wife that we have no idea how much or little those stupendous and breathtaking ‘testimonies’ have been embellished, air-brushed, rehearsed to sell an image or an identity that most if not all of us seem to be so lacking. And yes -that reality sadly infects most believers I know!

So many, having a stirring or some inner discontent, have supposedly mistaken that for His calling to leave the mundane, ordinary, common, daily routines to become heroic, go for broke, press the envelope, leave the pew-warming to the nominal luke-warm believers! Ha!!! As my wife said, maybe it was never His intention for any of this to happen. Maybe His intention was for us simply to live a very normal (super) natural life and in that context experience the reality of His love for us and accordingly, learn to deal with life’s twists and turns.

I think where so many have short-changed a loving God and Father is in not experiencing the perfection of His love right where we/they are. We end up doing stupid things and then expect God to bail us out. After all, shouldn’t He come through for us, we who have sacrificed everything to prove our loving devotion and commitment to Him? In my opinion, whether or not it’s a conscious mindset, the thinking goes something like this: He is obligated to come through for us in light of our “obedience” to His call upon our lives. He won’t let us down or disappoint us, right? After all, He’s on our side!

I am so grateful that He is able to bring forth what is the best for my life through any and all things, but in not knowing the reality of His deep, deep love for me the inner bareness of sin’s fruit, guilt and shame keep some of us obsessed with wanting to do what Peter did in the storms of life: “Lord if that is you, speak the word and I’ll come to you.” Yes, it was the Lord and Peter did walk out upon the power of that spoken Word, only to experience the power of gravity’s tentacles!
The sad thing is (as the scriptures state), later Peter ‘followed the Lord a far off’.
Performing the sensational didn’t address his inner bankruptcy, nor did it undo his fears or his pride. There was something waiting to burst upon his consciousness that would only become real to him on the other side of the sifting process God had fashioned for Peter. And the sifter had Peter’s name on it.



Randy said...

I can definitely relate to this post. I think deep in my heart I believe that "to live a very normal (super) natural life and in that context experience the reality of His love" is the right perspective. But I often struggle with wanting more. Why? I think a big reason is what one of the elders at my church calls "Jesus plus" - that we say our value and sufficiency is in Jesus, but the reality is that it is often Jesus plus...satisfying career, good health, happy kids - or as you write about Jesus plus some sensational spiritual experience.

I really appreciate your posts. It is encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with these things.

God bless you.

Rich said...


I so appreciate your encouraging comments, thank you.
It’s that reality of discovering at the core of my being, I am LOVED that has been the catalyst that continues to catapult me into a daily living that is nothing short of a miracle.

To quote myself from some thoughts I shared on my newest blog “Richard’z Rantz” there is way too much intellectualizing mental assent bobble-head dog in the back window, nodding to every vibration and movement!

“Without the crisis, crashing into Jesus much if not most of the so called “Christian experience” is more about, ‘is your faith in your ability to be able to understand and apprehend and box God up in a set of propositions, or is it in a real intimate personal experiential relationship with the Father? As we learn the hard way, we sadly discover our faith is actually in our ability to figure things out not knowing Him!’

In my opinion, the struggles we are being confronted with has much to do with the spirit of grace and truth making real to us this One who cannot be confined or contained in lifeless propositions no matter how biblical they sound.


If you are ever interested in doing a voice chat or instant messaging, I'm wide open and available for that!