When Normal is Over

“For you, normal would be a tragic loss of potential.”

The words came from a strange source–a television show I had never seen before–but I knew their true Source.

I had been musing about what it would be like to embrace a nice “normal” life. You know–be content with a nice little job, a nice little home, nice friends, do some nice little things to serve God now and again–but nothing too intense. Nothing too radical or risky.  Just, you know, normal.

But even before I heard the words, I already knew the truth.

Normal had been over for a long time.

Maybe it was the t-shirt I was given by one of our partner organizations the first time I went to a third-world country. The warning was right there, emblazoned on the front:


And it was.

But I guess I didn’t expect the lack of normal to look quite so … well … normal.

I had gone all in. Put all my eggs in one basket. Started a non-profit. Left my secure job (after much prayer and counsel, I might add). Jumped off the cliff without a parachute–and never looked back.  I poured everything I was and everything I had into “seek(ing) first the kingdom of God.”

Let’s just say it didn’t work out the way I hoped it would.

So here I was back in a nice little job, in a nice little home, with nice friends, doing some nice little things to serve God now and again.

But I wasn’t content.

How can you be content when “normal is over” but your circumstances seem so dang normal?

The answer, it turns out, was simple.  Continue to “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matt. 6:33).

Normal, or the lack thereof, isn’t a position in life–it’s a position of the heart. It’s not a particular set of circumstances, it’s what we do in our current circumstances.

Because even in the midst of very ordinary seasons of life, we still serve an extraordinary God.

For me, it all came down to embracing the reality of who God said I was and who he created me to be–even when my circumstances seemed to say something very different.

And for me, normal will always be a tragic loss of potential.

I’ve had some amazing adventures with Jesus through the years–some half-way around the world, some in my backyard.

I’ve also had long seasons where it didn’t seem like there was much of anything happening.

But in every season, God is still God. He is still who he says he is, and I am still who he says I am.  The key is to focus on what you can do in each season and keep from settling into complacency during the not so exciting seasons of life.

Really, the key is keep from “settling”–period.

At first, I thought normal was over when I glimpsed circumstances that stirred my heart and compelled me to act.  But I discovered that, really, normal was over when I glimpsed him.

Normal was over when I glimpsed his heart.

And once you’ve truly glimpsed God’s heart–just try going back to normal. Ever. Anywhere. No matter what is or isn’t happening.

It simply isn’t going to happen.

Oh, by the way, just in case you are wondering, he has been inching me closer to the edge of that cliff again. When you’ve crashed a time or two, it is pretty scary to think about leaping again. For a long time, I wasn’t sure I still had it in me.

But I do.

And when he says to jump again, I will.

Because normal is over.

It’s been over for a long time.


Just found out this was also posted here  on Jeff Goin’s Wrecked blog. Great book and also a lot of good stories on the blog.

6 thoughts on “When Normal is Over

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