Have you ever lived in the “formal normal?” You know, you get up each day and go through the normal routine. You do everything the same as the day before. No surprises, nothing different, same old, same old. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – just possibly a little boring at times. I often think that boring is good when I’ve just finished dealing with a problem that caused me stress and anxiety!
Sometimes the formal normal is a necessity – getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school in the morning. We need the routine just so that everything clicks into place and goes smoothly.
Sometimes the formal normal is comforting and peaceful. This year has been a year of transition for me as well as a lot of people I know. Lots of changes – many of them have been good or have led to the Lord turning them for good. But there are the little crazy things too. Just last week I had one of those crazy days that didn’t fit in with my plans at all. It all worked out for good – yet nothing that happened was in my plans for the day. I didn’t get much – if anything – done on my “to do” list. However, I did get things done on the Lord’s! He just seemed to put things in my path that day. It turned out to be one of the craziest days and one of the best days at the same time because I accomplished helping some, and getting some things done I didn’t expect to get done that day. When the day was over I was pleased at how it all turned out. It wasn’t my plans at all, but I could see the Lord’s hand in each thing that was done. How great is that!
I wonder if sometimes we get so stuck in the formal normal that we block the Lord from doing something special in our lives. Or in using us to do something special in someone else’s life.
The other day I was in the yard, cutting back some hosta plants for the winter, then went in the house to do some cleaning. When the cleaner hit my finger it stung. I looked and saw a small black something imbeded in my finger – too small to tell if it were a tick or a splinter. Since I was alone, I called my neighbor to see if she could take a look. Although she and her family were busy doing something that they really needed to do, her response was – “Come on over.”
Her son Brian took a look and determined it was a splinter. He took it out with such dexterity, you’d think he was a surgeon! It was not something sticking out that could be pulled out easily, and yet there was no pain – not even a pinch! I’m so thankful that this family took the time out of their “formal normal” to help me.
I also wonder if we are so formal normal in our prayers that we become boring – and bored in them. Do we say the same prayer over and over – or do we engage the Lord in conversations with Him from our heart? It’s so easy to get stuck in routine. I have to be careful of that. I want my prayers to come from my heart – not formal normal.
There’s one formal normal I never want to do away with. That’s taking my special time to be in the Lord’s Presence and talk to Him. I don’t want what I say to be formal normal, but I never want to do without my formal normal time with Him.
Have a wonderful day! Blessings, Evelyn
P.S. Check out www.innervoicemag.com for more articles. Go to Faith, Reflections, then click on the title. My titles so far are: Do-Overs, God’s Love Notes, End of your Rope, Just Whistle, and upcoming, Listen to His Heartbeat.