Life Is Back To Normal
Isn’t it amazing how from just before Thanksgiving until after Christmas life changes? It is as if you were driving in a car, about to pass someone, and hit the accelerator. The automobile quickly kicks into passing gear and speeds ahead of the one you are overtaking. There is so much to do and so many preparations to make. It is no wonder that many people often go through a depression just after Christmas. Once the New Year starts and the final holiday is observed, life as it was re-accelerates and returns to normal. Many of us spend the first week to the first few weeks in a daze wondering what happened. Then, all of a sudden, you realize that things are back to normal.
Whether we noticed it or not, there was quite a rush going on inside us during those weeks. Most of us got to see and spend some time with family and friends in a way that was different from other times during the year. Now, they have settled back into their lives and we have done the same. It is not as exciting and can often lead to the blues.
Some have put things off all year with the expectation of taking care of them at the first of the New Year. So, New Year’s resolutions flow from our pens, most often, in a vain attempt to catch up on that which we should have done throughout the year. When and if that fails, it makes us feel even worse. Life is back to normal and we find a rest in that even though we wish it could be different. Not everyone makes this journey, but it seems that most do.
Our relationship with Christ is much like that. In the beginning we are fired up. Our engines are revved up and the excitement flows. For many, as soon as the extra attention goes away, so does the fire and we settle in for a spark here and there. There are times when the circumstances of life fan the sparks into flame only to burn and flicker and return to the occasional spark.
Religion, in general, teaches us, urges us and coaxes us to believe that we must live in the flame. It tells us that our lives are to be like some consuming fire, constantly burning across the earth to exhibit the presence of God. And, if we are not burning, we are not appreciative of His work in us. I would remind you that a fire consumes and consumes quickly. We cannot be constantly in that mode. It will consume us.
When the Magi visited the Christ child, Mary, Joseph and Jesus had already returned home and were staying in a house. Can you imagine how their heads must have rocked and reeled with all that was going on prior to and during the birth of their son Jesus? And now, they are back at home and life had returned to normal, somewhat, anyway. Mary and Joseph did not stay in Bethlehem. They had only gone there to join in the census and pay their taxes. Who knows if they were aware of the prophecy of the Christ being in that town? And if they were aware of it, did they really comprehend that they were a part of its working? These folks had been under pressure for a while, and now life was getting back to normal. Their son was Jesus but He seemed like any other ordinary child until around age twelve or so.
God’s people are ordinary, just like the rest of the world. The difference is that God chooses to work within the life of the ordinary and do extraordinary things. He calls us to be people of faith, not necessarily people of fire. It should never be our lives which are the focus in the world. It should be the work of God coming through our lives. It should be His mighty power shown in the midst of our weakness. Our lives should be “in the world” but not “of the world.” We are not super-human. We are not a people who are specially endowed with lives that consume. We are ordinary people serving an extraordinary God.
When we try to be more than we are we diminish God and cause the light to fall on ourselves, not Him. People look at us and not God. But we, who are ordinary, follow an Awesome God. People see that we are common but doing uncommon things. The world in Jesus’ day was astounded by the disciples. They were weak men who were as common as you and I. When observed, it was obvious that they were not necessarily well educated, and for some of them, a little backward. But, they took notice that there was something different about them. It was obvious that they had been with the Christ. Jesus left His stamp on them. He affected their lives. He called ordinary people to affect His extraordinary work in this world.
So, if your life has returned to normal, take heart. We are back where we belong. We can never be lazy in Him, but the fact that we are common reassures us that we are in the framework of letting God shine forth. Tell others about Him and He will be the fire they need to see. Show Him in daily living and He will do extraordinary things to make Himself known.
Welcome to a brand new year. “Ain’t God fun?”