Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Musings

"The only normal people
are the ones you don't know very well."
~Joe Ancis

I can't believe it, I actually got a Monday at home and I can finally participate in TCC's Monday Musings. And I'm so glad that this is the Monday I hit - the quote itself doesn't require a dictionary to decipher (just joshin' ya, TCC!) and it's actually one I've been pondering since lunch with my friend on Wednesday. Let me explain . . .

Lately, I've been spending a ton of time (for me) at home, alone or with just one or two of my kids. Flu and fever season hit us a bit harder here at The Gang's house than in winters past. Anyway, as an extrovert (like squared!), a lot of quiet time often leads me down the path of introspection. Introspection is not, in and of itself, a problem. But for me, lots of introspection turns into self-focus and self-absorption in the form of re-hashing conversations (with humans and with God) that I could have handled better. It becomes a conversation in my head of how ridiculous it is that at my age (gasp!) I'm not over this by now. That I should have learned this lesson and moved on already. If I am not diligent to stop those conversational tracks in my head the minute they start laying rails westward, I am full steam ahead to the end of the rails: comparisons that always result in me coming up short in some area. I fly right past the stations of "Wait, I'm Not Alone" and "Stop Here - Renewals by the Holy Spirit." I screech with all my brakes smoking right into "I Am So Screwed Up." Or I limp with squeaky wheels and sputtering engine into "Why Can't I Be Like __________?" By then, my tracks are a wreck and my wheels are chewed up beyond recognition.

So at lunch on Wednesday, I was sharing with my friend about some things going on in my life. It quickly became a conversation full of me, what I'm "really" like, and what's wrong with me. While the conversation was helpful and encouraging and insightful (she's a wonderful, wise woman, no matter what she thinks about herself today!), I also heard this Station Master in my head questioning me. Asking me if this was all really necessary. Checking with me to see if I could possibly be so ridiculous to assume that I was the only one who didn't have this issue (or any variety of others) together by now. Reminding me of the supreme vanity of thinking that I could be or should be comparing myself to others around me. Questioning the wisdom of my starting point that everyone else is normal and I'm the one that's beyond salvage-able.

As we ended our time together, I thanked my friend for her ability to be so real - I even used the word normal. And she is - she's vulnerable about her failings, but she's also real about her part in those failings and in her dependence on Her Father. But what struck me after I left our time together is that I thanked her for her normalcy, as if I have precious little of my own. As if being with her is what boosted my normalcy quotient for the day. And I felt convicted about that. When I was able to sort through it all by way of running conversations and debates with the Station Master, I realized that even within all of her own transparencies in our times together, that couldn't possibly be all there is to her. I realized (seriously, it was like a series of V8 moments for most of Thursday and part of Friday!) that I view her as normal, but given the things that she's shared with me, she may struggle to see herself as normal. And that others (God help them!) may actually view me as normal.

The funny thing is, all of us are normal in our propensity to screw up. In our struggle to make it through in our own steam. In our need for a Savior. In our desperate, daily need for "Renewals by the Holy Spirit!" All of us should be making those stops, cruising up to the platform and letting our engines cool down and be tuned up.

The equally funny thing is that none of us are normal. We are all individuals, all unique in our own right. We can never be fully known by any human relationship on this train route. We can only depend on Our Father to know us more intimately than any other. In this dependence, it matters less and less that we know normal people. And it matters less and less that we be known as normal people.


pups n horses said...

i am smiling a bit because i always knew that i was normal it was everyone else that was messed up..........LOL but of course if you talk to anyone that knows me they think i am a little out there. its funny how we view ourselves in regards to the rest of the world. in the end i think we are all more alike than we might admit. and just for the record i never really thought of you as normal --- but then opposites attract........LOL you know i luvs ya!

julie said...

I love that quote, it is sooo true. I struggle with many of the same issues you do. I am trying to remember I need to be the "girl" God made me to be. Trust Him and forget about everything and everyone else. Oh my, it is oh so hard sometimes.


Livin' Life said...

I think you touched on the issue every woman struggles with. I know I have to keep myself in check all the time for not comparing myself to others or what I think I should be instead of being firmly grounded in who God created me to be.

Great Post!!!!!

ComfyDenim said...

"Normalcy is *Highly* overrated"


Beautiful Grace said...

If the definition of "normal" means that we have no weaknesses, than none of us is normal. I have been learning through my 40 some years on this earth that my weaknesses are indeed an asset through which the Lord may reveal His strength. We need Him, no doubt about it. Bless you!!! Have a fantastically "normal" day in Jesus!!! :)

TCC said...

I'm so glad you were able to join me this week!

I think we all are able to relate to this issue - and I'm thankful that you saw this quote as more doable. In reality I enjoy reading the various responses to these quotes and the different personalities that are entrenched in the written word.

Regarding normalcy - I truly appreciate your last paragraph. :)

Trish said...

I think you are so right on this one. I usually find these types of feelings leading me into the trap of second guessing myself to the point where I just keep quiet and don't step out or participate where I should.

Love your station imagery - don't know if you knew this, but the CCC children's ministry now has a train theme (Transformation Station) with the idea that the child is the train and the tracks are God's Word and we need to stay on the tracks to get to our destination.