December 26, 2006

Normal People Don't Change the World


I am obsessed with a terrible fear. It is greater than any fear of torture, burning, drowning, or being kidnapped. It looms larger than my natural fear of death. Fears of falling, of darkness, and of hunger are dwarfed in comparison to it. Beside it, any other fears that I possess are nothing.

I am afraid of being normal.

I am afraid that I will wake up one day and be just like everyone else. I am afraid that I will care about the things that normal people care about. I am afraid that I will live my life like billions of others on this planet do.

I am afraid that, like countless others, I will let life happen to me. I will sink below the waves of life as they crash past me, and eventually, in their wake, I will bounce up again. I will go along bobbing up and down in the sea of time and space, until one day a mighty wave will sweep me under, and I will never pop back up. I will sink to the bottom, disintegrate, and dissolve into the sand at the bottom of the ocean of dreams.

I do not want to be normal. I want to attack life with zest before it attacks me. I want time to be my servant, never my master. I want to run life as though it were a race, pushing back the obstacles and ultimately breaking the tape at the finish line to the cheers of an entire stadium. I want to meet the Master at the end, and hear His commendations on a race well run.

I am afraid of being normal because I've seen what happens to normal people. Normal people live normal lives, and have normal problems. When they die, they'll have the normal for all of eternity. I don't want that.

I want to have a different life. I want to fight bigger problems, and win. Because I have bigger battles, my victories will be sweeter. My joys will be more acute. Yes, my losses will be more tragic, but I will buckle up and try again.

Normal people care about normal things. They care about what they will eat, how they will pay the mortgage, what they will wear, when they can retire, how they can manage to get along with their families. They care mostly about keeping their heads above water.

I want God to plant my feet on higher ground. By His grace, I want to break away from the shallowness of a trite existence.

I don't want to care so much about normal things. I want to care about matters of eternal significance, life versus death and good versus evil. I want to care about things that are deeper than the temporal. Normal people don't change the world, but that's what I must do. It needs changing. Someone must get the ball rolling.

I feel guilty about things that don't even bother most people. I feel guilty because more than 3,000 innocent children are murdered every day in my country. I haven't killed any. I wasn't even alive on January 22, 1973. But still, I feel responsible. The shame is acute. I want to do something about it.

In spite of all this, I am afraid that I will become normal. I am afraid that I will wake up one morning and discover that my life is halfway over and I am just like everyone else I know. This has happened to others. It could happen to me, too.

It must never happen. By God's grace, it never will. I serve a God who is anything but 'normal', and I have no doubt that His plans for my life are not normal in the least.

17 comments:

Gary Wood said...

Christ will answer your prayer. Maybe in ways you've never dreamed of. Maybe in ways unexpected.

Anonymous said...

Um, interesting blog. Being normal isn't so bad though. Wasn't the last time I tried anyway


Joe

Anonymous said...

Hey Sarah
That was pretty cool. Sometimes I want to fit in and be more 'normal' by the world's standards, but it is cool to be unnormal and be yourself instead of blending in with everyone.
God Bless You!
A good friend

Hannah said...

Hey Sarah, It's Hannah Greek ( your cousin if u haven't already guessed! ) If you really think about it there can be no one in the world that is so called "normal" cause other people that you think are normal wish they could be normal and the friends they think are normal wish they could be normal like their friends and it goes on and on so just saying that no matter how hard u try to be normal it just doesn't happen...

ok I'm done LOL I'm being really random today..maybe it's because I'm hungry :P well anyways good thoughts :D! Have a great day!!

Hannah

Kierstyn Paulino said...

Hey Sarah!

I know exactly what you mean! I struggle in that area too. The last thing I want is to be a normal girl, yet it is so easy to be sucked into culture.

Normal people don't change the world because normal people can't see anything outside of their own life. We're different - the few who are. God calls people to change the world, but he doesn't call them in masses. Look at Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego!

Keep on going Sarah, Keep trusting in God and doing His will! That is the only way we can change the world. :)

God Bless!
Your sis in Christ,
Kierstyn

Josiah said...

Great thoughts Sarah. It's part of our calling to stand out of the crowd, to be unique, to be salt and light for our maker. You can't do that while being "normal". You can do it while being simple, but not normal.

It's time to take a break from the usual.

Anonymous said...

Hello,

In my youth, I had similar fears that you express about not wanting to be normal. As I grew older, I came to understand that this wish, while well-intentioned (and normal), is to some extent, elitist.

I also came to understand the daily heroics that so many "normal" people perform. Heroics that they view as just what needs to be done, but to my eyes, are daily acts of courage or kindness.

Finally, I came to understand how humbling it is to embrace my normalcy - my commonalities with others - rather than my uniqueness.

Sarah said...

Thanks for your comment. I totally agree with your point about the daily heroics of 'normal' people and the need to embrace the fact that, in ourselves, we are nothing spectacular. I actually plan to do a post about everday heroes before too long.

I agree that God calls many of us to be 'nobodies' in the eyes of the world. Not everyone is called to go out and change the world in a dramatic way. We can rejoice in that, because God's plan for each of us is where we will find our fulfillment.

However, this post is not about getting to the top. It's about rejecting the mediocrity of leading a normal lifestyle. It's about being intentional and not just 'letting life happen'. I know that I am ordinary. I'm not smarter than everyone else. I'm not more gifted. But that doesn't mean that I'm going to be content with an existence of purposelessness. I must be responsible.

What makes me different is that I serve a God who can use my life to accomplish great things, whether those great things happen at a kitchen table or in the Oval Office. I will do my duty, whatever that be and whatever be the cost.

When I say 'I am afraid that I will wake up one day and be just like everyone else' I mean not that I am somehow more capable than others, but simply that I intend to reject the cultural norm of a mediocre character. We can do better than just scraping by in life. We don't have to meet the culture's expectations. We can exceed them!

Thanks again for commenting.

krishnaservant said...

I think God wants us to ask ourselves every moment whether our actions are pleasing to Him. If the answer is no, we must have the courage to abstain. Also, we must not shirk from doing what God wants us to do. Of course, to know God's mind, we must read the scripture scrutinisingly and not be blindly guided by what the priests or anybody says.For instance, God does not want us to kill any living thing. To kill animals and birds to simply please our tongue is a crime, but even religious people have become numb to simple truths.This has now lead to people killing unborn children and affirming that it is not a sin.Also, we must stay clear from indulging too much in various sense pleasures, like eating, sex etc so that our heart is sensitive to recognise the subtle messages from God. We must also seek out the association of likeminded people and discuss these matters in depth. Strictly must avoid gossip mongers and materialistic people whose only thought is to enjoy shortlived pleasures which disturbs our serene state. I hope to hear your views on these .
With Love and goodwishes
FROM
An aspiring soul for the Love of God

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katye said...

This is great! Thanks for the post. For better or for worse, I share your sentiments wholeheartedly here. Love and blessings.

-katye

Anonymous said...

rather than talking about how you don't want to be *normal* why don't you shut your mouth and change your self.

Greeneyes787 said...

I think the same way, but I think its because I'm autistic. And all this logical thinking makes me worse every single day. I notice how I am slightly becoming crazy. This might be because of the excess of normal people who expect me to be normal. All of these extroverts overwhelming me, and I have to cope with their immature normal stuff ever single day of my 15 years of life.