A Year For New Normal
Everyone loves a new start, right? And the new year gives us a reason to set new goals, begin healthier living, and establish new habits. But how many New Year’s resolutions establish a new normal?
Well, I think normal may be a bit over-rated and perhaps a little misunderstood. But what do I know? I’m a writer…and a Christian writer to boot…so normal has been out of reach for quite some time.
Christians are weird and writers are strange, so if you want to see a room full of very odd folks, join me at a Christian writers’ conference. We’re just plain bizarre–especially fiction writers. Oy-Vay! Let me count the ways:
- We talk to our fictional characters…sometimes outloud.
- We create fictional places…and actually go there in our minds…for long periods of time.
- We get excited about researching the strangest things. Seriously, who cares how many hours it takes a body to decompose? A writer.
A Little Frightening
I was at a large writer’s conference recently, and the MC announced at the opening session:
“We’ve been given the entire basement level of the hotel for our workshops and display area. You may talk all you’d like about your plotlines and book ideas down here, but when you get on the elevators–especially you suspense writers–please refrain from discussing your planned assassinations and which poisons are undetectable in an autopsy. WE DON’T WANT TO SCARE THE NORMALS.”
Getting Immersed In My Story
I’ve heard all sorts of tales about fellow authors and their attempts to continue a normal routine while trying to research and write a book. I mean, most of us can’t just hide in a cave for two months and come out when a book is done, right? But how do we lead normal lives and still maintain a deep stream of consciousness flowing toward an intricate plot?
Well…that’s why we have occasional instances of milk in the oven instead of the refrigerator. Unmatched socks and earrings–no socks, no earrings–socks on our ears…no, not really.
My agent, who is also an author, confessed to preparing a cup of coffee for one of her characters so she could chat with him and find out who he really was. Her husband came in and started to sit in the “empty” chair, thinking the filled coffee cup was for him. She screamed, “Don’t sit on him!” Okay, that’s just not normal, right?
We All Should Be Writers at Heart
What if every Christian walked around thinking of Jesus as much as we crazy writers think about our plots? We’d have a whole lot of people like Paul describes in Colossians:
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life.”
Col. 3:1-3 (The Message)
But Don’t Scare the Normals!
Since we live IN the world, we’re not secluded on our own little basement floor of a writers’ conference hotel. We must use the elevators and mix with the “normals” on a daily basis, engaging in conversations easily understood and enticing to those who don’t yet know what permeates our thinking. We must ease people into a discussion about Jesus before talking about a virgin birth and blood sacrifice and resurrection from the dead. Don’t water down the Truth, but at least have coffee and a bagel before you launch into theology!
Praise God For Peculiar!
This is one passage that I decidedly prefer in the King James Version because it tells it like it is:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
1 Peter 2:9 (KJV)
- Taking this advice from Col. 3:1-3, what are some practical things we can DO to be God’s peculiar people in a “normal” world?
- Pursue the things important to Christ.
- Don’t get absorbed in the things of this world.
- Be alert/attentive to what Jesus is doing around you.
- See things from God’s perspective.