12 January 2020
Back to Normal ~ Closing Thoughts
Greetings Dear Reader,
We always hear the question, “what is normal?” Defining it can be very subjective and often elusive. Normal is the habits we have and the patterns we are used to following. There are objective norms but they almost always have a range.
For most of us normal is the routine we follow throughout the week. It is often seen to us as the drudgery we endure to get to the glimpses of what we would rather be doing. Instead of pursuing what our hearts desire, we run a path of sustenance that provides necessities but is not rewarding.
I consider this equation whenever I take on something as “work”. I do not simply work for pay. I trade part of my life for pay. I evaluate if I am willing to trade my life for that thing. This has led to another, deeper thought about this. When I give my life to complaints, anger, and offenses, I am trading life for strife. I am wasting an opportunity to love.
This leads to the idea of examining why we get offended. We establish a set of norms in our minds defining what is offensive. We call them pet peeves, last nerves, and triggers. What we fail to do is own that we choose what will offend us. We decide where our love and understanding stops and where irritation and anger begin. I am not saying that there is never justifiable anger or that things do not irritate us. It is clear, however, that we are a society of people who get offended as a norm.
As a Christ-follower, I am obligated to have norms that included love, grace, kindness, and peace. If I am focused on offense, I am not looking for ways to love those around me. I must move to a place where I refuse to trade life for offenses. I must become, as much as is possible for a human, unoffendable. Building the norm of focusing on love of others is a great start. It will take intention to realign my long patterns of thought to a place where my norms of offense no longer exist.
I must also understand that the cross and the gospel are offensive to others. For some reason, kindness and love can often be met with anger and offense. I cannot allow the offense that others feel mitigate my willingness to deal with others in love and grace. As I walk through this year, we will often revisit this idea of being unoffendable. We will look at every topic through the lenses of love and being unable to be offended. We will begin tomorrow by beginning to deconstruct the Liturgy of the Common Man. I will explain that then as promised. Thank you for your time and company, Dear Reader. Your companionship in the journey is priceless.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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