Thursday, September 15, 2011

What is Normal?

Here's a glimpse into what's "normal" for me.

America, summer 2011:
Normal is arriving at a new place and staying in the home of people you've never met before. Normal is finding out there are fewer than six degrees of separation between you and that family. 

Normal is speaking at 1-2 different churches every week and rarely hearing a sermon that you are not preaching.  Normal is finding time while driving to listen to a sermon from a church in San Diego that you have never attended.  Normal is being outgoing and friendly simply because it's necessary then riding in the car in silence for an hour.

Normal is going less than 30 days without living out of a suitcase.  Normal is having 2 different pastors in 2 different countries, and "home" churches in multiple states.  Normal is thinking that a church service held entirely in English is just too easy.

Normal is wondering if people in America actually call it "Philadelphia" instead of "cream cheese."  Normal is getting confused about the money that is not color-coded.  Normal is thinking that American pop culture is weird.

Normal is attending a church service where you sing along to songs you barely understand.  Normal is hanging out a girls' camp for the day and zoning out most of the time because you don't understand.  Normal is joining group games with the help of others to translate/interpret.

Normal is feeling some distance (communication) between myself and the people around me at church, or those I meet, even when we are back to back on public transport.  Normal is listening to one of the KCA moms speak Spanish, then responding in Russian.

Normal is not knowing literal translations of signs, but only the practical implications.  Normal is having American friends who are not from your home state.  Normal is when you have to plan extra time to prepare ingredients for cooking because there are not pre-packaged salad mixes or boxed things like Hamburger Helper.  Normal is saying that spring begins on March 1, even if it snows 2 weeks later. 

Normal is not having internet for the first week.  Normal is routine activities taking all day.  Normal is having to live by a different kind of clock.  Normal is thinking of at least 2 uses for every object in your house; i.e., a radiator can help thaw raw meat, or a wet Q-tip works as an "eraser" on overhead transparencies.  Normal is being entertained easily by catching the пух with a vacuum cleaner.  Normal is picking up and paying for train tickets at the church, and not at a cashier at the train station.  Normal is paying for bags at the grocery store.

Normal is inviting 2 American English teachers whom you have never met, but only chatted with one online because they know another missionary friend of yours, to stay in your apartment for three or four days.  Normal is the kitchen being a perfectly logical place to tell them to put their used bath towels.

To quote Youth in Mission, "That's different, but that's okay!"

What's "normal" in your part of the world?

1 comment:

  1. Normal is to look for blogs about missionaries to get inspired and look for sings and answers from God.

    Normal is to drive in the traffic in LA listening to a very cool christian radio show that talks about

    Normal is looking at my community- hispanic - always complaining about the country that with or without legal documents, has given them an oppotunity to have a better life.

    Normal is to buy a delicious oatmeal at McDonalds every morning..yummy

    Normal is to go to church in a neighborhood surrounded by drug dealers, prostitutes and crime all the time.

    Normal is to hear ambulances, cops and loud voices....

    Normal is people complaining about "poverty" but in reality there are food banks everywhere - where they can get food all the time

    Normal is coming to an empty house with an extra room and seeing everyday and thinking: "there are so many plp that dont have a place to live and here I am with an extra room"

    Normal is seeing people in the street that spend money in stupid things...but not being able to give a dollar to a homeless person

    Normal is to see TONS of food going to the trash -restaurants not being able to give it to the needy because of federal law---uggg!!!!
    Normal is watching news the whooleeee day (I work in a news station)

    Normal is hosting a show in a small tv channel my church has.

    Normal is constantly thinking about what others are suffering around the world..comparing my self and my "comfortness" here in LA.

    Normal is wondering what my life would be like if God were to call me full time in the ministry.

    Normal is wishing a had a blog I could keep up with everyday,

    Normal is meeting famous people because I know God opened the door for me in the entertainment business but feeling guilty I cant find a way to evangelize them.

    Normal is wondering about other people's lives and how they could be better if I opened my mouth to share the gospel.

    Normal is constantly thinking that eventually I will have to leave everything behind to live for God, experiencing a crazy love for him.

    Normal is not wanting to write comments on blogs because I am afraid God and the people who read it will take my words and make me an offer to help me guide me into Gods will for my life.

    Normal is seeing people living in goverment housing but having cable, cool cellphones and good cars.

    Normal...I feel bad my normal is NOT what God wants.