What is Normal? From Sumatra Villages to Corporate America.


When I look back over my life over the last two years I am just amazed at God’s provision. I’m amazed at how quickly Kim and I can jump from one thing to another. How one day we’re living full on in another culture, immersed in the heat and language barriers, bugs, weddings, and customs entirely different from what is ‘normal’. And then I open my eyes again, and this time God has me working in an office, in Madison, Wisconsin, surrounded by caucasian white collar tech workers. I sit in my cubicle, coffee in hand, and chat with coworkers over video conferencing. I live a double life, and nobody here seems to notice.

The experiences I have taken from my other life are like a secret now. Not to me, necessarily, but hidden and unknown to all the people around me. I must look perfectly normal to my coworkers when I go into the office. Oh how I blend in. But I confess that I don’t recognize myself in this setting. I think about the person I was just a couple years ago, and I look at the person who I am now, and it seems quite illogical to me. These two pictures don’t resolve in my head in a way that makes sense. I can’t draw a straight line between these two points and say, “Ah, that’s how that happened.” The course of my life has taken many unexpected twists and turns. Something dramatic and noteworthy has happened here.

The only explanation I have for this is this. Many years ago I gave my life over into the hands of a God who is trustworthy; into the strong hands of a God who works miracles. I told God that my life wasn’t my own anymore but His, and He could do with me what He wanted. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised when my life is illogical, and it doesn’t follow a normal straight line, predictable, kind of path. It’s evidence of a life surrendered to a God how does crazy illogical things. God doesn’t follow a predictable pattern. He has a unique plan for all of us. May we all have the strength and courage to follow Him in and out of what is “normal”.

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