Are We Back to Normal Yet?

“I’m so ready for things to get back to normal!”

I’ve heard more than one person say that this past week. Before the floods, we had predictable grooves for life. Now, after the kids have been home a week, we’ve worked overtime, volunteered, and tried to find clean water, life in Sumter, Clarendon, and Lee Counties is slowly coming back to that groove. But is that normal?

Normal is just a state of mind and the name of town in Illinois. Things seem to get back to get back into that groove, but sooner or later, something or someone will knock us out of that groove. Even if our life is normal, for someone we see at the grocery store or at the ball game, life is not normal. In fact it is falling apart. They have been to the doctor, or had that conversation that ended the relationship, or got the phone call from one of the kids, or were called into the boss’s office. Maybe this week all this is happening to your neighbor; next week may be your turn.

If normal is not the norm, doesn’t it make sense to prepare for it? At some level we know this – that’s why we buy insurance (and some of us are wondering why we didn’t buy flood insurance). But at another level, we live in denial, believing it will happen to the other guy, not us.

I think this is what Jesus was talking about when He told us about the wise man, who built his house on the rock, and the foolish man, who built his house on the sand. The wise man knows normal is an interlude and trouble will come. When trouble comes, you need strength that cannot be built overnight; it is built one wise decision at the time. It’s a lot of trouble to build a house on the rock, but that wise decision means you are ready when normal evaporates.

The foolish man builds his house on the sand. He thinks normal is forever. When the flood comes (or the phone call, or the conversation, or the meeting with the boss), he is surprised, and maybe even angry. He thinks the world isn’t fair and wonders why the fates conspire against him. It never occurs to him that maybe his decisions about doing things the easy way pre-determined the fall of his house. He needs strength that can only be built over time.

Even if you are back to normal, it is not going to stay around. Listen to Jesus. Build your life on His wise words, each day. You are building strength for the days when the flood comes.

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