Better than normal!

Matt Whitacre   -  

“I just can’t wait until things get back to N O R M A L”

…how many times do you think you have heard that in the last few months?

OK now, how many times have YOU said that in the last few months?

I catch myself saying this ALL the time (especially when I forget my mask and have to turn around and go back to the house to grab it! One day I’ll learn to just keep one in the truck 😉).

I JUST WISH THINGS WERE BACK TO NORMAL!!

But, what if God never intended things to go back to normal? I was confronted with this idea from a YouVersion plan that our worship team is currently going through. The plan is called BETTER THAN NORMAL (you can click right on the plan title and it’ll bring you right to it!)

The plan challenges all of our ideas of normality in light of scripture and it gives so much hope for the future, it casts new light on the “normality of life,” and really sets a new paradigm for thinking not just during this pandemic, but for the rest of our lives.

One of my favorite parts of scripture is in Romans 12. Paul is warning the Church not to conform to the norms of life, not to just go with the flow of society, but to live with r e n e w e d minds, to think and to live differently. The New Living Translation of Romans 12:2 says it like this..

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

The fear I have for myself is that for the last 28 years of my life, culture has told me what “normal” is.

Culture says…

It’s normal to try my best at work only when I feel appreciated.
It’s normal to live in constant debt because I want things I can’t quite afford.
It’s normal to stop hanging out with someone after they have offended me.
It’s normal to let bad habits control the way I live. 
Do you see what I am getting at here? As Christians, we are called to live BETTER than normal. We’re called to always give our best, live within our means and be generous, give CONSTANT grace, and take responsibility for our actions.
We are called to be transformed through the power of Christ in us. 
One of my prayers is this,
“Lord, change me. Use this time in my life, when things are uncomfortably slow, to change how I think, change how I act, and change what I value. I want to come out of this better than normal. Amen.”

What about you? What areas of your life have you just accepted as “NORMAL”?

If none come to mind, ask the Holy Spirit to show you, and then ask for the courage and faith to never return to that normal!

Next time you are tempted to wish for normal, ask God to renew your mind again, and again, and again!

Let’s decide as Christians, as a CHURCH FAMILY, to live BETTER than normal!

Pastor Matt
Worship & Creative Arts Pastor